Meijer is offering a text-based registration process for those who want to register for the COVID-19 vaccine at its pharmacies.
The state of Michigan has chosen Meijer as an initial pharmacy partner to help administer COVID-19 vaccines in the regionunder the Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership Program.
Although Meijer has 120 pharmacies throughout Michigan and more than 250 pharmacies across its six-state footprint, the retailer will administer the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine at a limited number of stores in Michigan’s Wayne County, beginning the week of Jan. 18. Specific store locations have not yet been determined. As more doses become available, Meijer will expand vaccine administration to include more stores throughout the state.
"Our stores and pharmacies have played a very important role in supporting their communities during this difficult time," Meijer President and CEO Rick Keyes said. "We are proud to be chosen by the state of Michigan as a partner to help administer these critical vaccines, and we look forward to our expanded role in helping communities throughout the Midwest defeat this pandemic."
The retailer will start administering its COVID-19 vaccines the week of Jan. 18 to patients 65 and older.
Those who wish to register for the vaccine can do so via a text-based registration process. Customers can text COVID to the number 75049, and they will receive a link to register. The link will include three brief questions that allow Meijer pharmacies to properly determine which vaccine phase the patient is in.
As COVID-19 vaccines are received, customers will be contacted with a date for their vaccination. If the proposed date doesn’t work for them, customers can decline the offered appointment while staying in the registration group for a future date. They can also opt out of the process if they change their mind or have already received the vaccine.
"The state of Michigan is proud to partner with Meijer to help distribute the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to Michiganders across the state," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. "One of the most important things all Michiganders can do right now is to make a plan to get the vaccine when it becomes available to you. Remember, it will take some time to distribute the vaccine to all Michiganders, so please be patient. And until we end the pandemic once and for all, remember to mask up, practice safe social distancing, and avoid indoor gatherings where the virus can spread easily from person to person. We will get through this together."
Recognizing pharmacies as crucial public-health partners for increasing the convenience of vaccines, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in November that it was partnering with grocers and other food retailers to maximize access to COVID-19 vaccines for all Americans. The program covers approximately 60% of pharmacies throughout the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Meijer operates more than 256 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The company is No. 19 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.