To help accelerate the safe reopening of schools, Meijer has partnered with the Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA) to launch a series of vaccine clinics at its stores this week to streamline the process for vaccinating teachers and school staff in the state.
Teachers across the nation have been hesitant to commence with in-person learning during the pandemic from fear of contracting COVID-19. Accelerating them to the head of the vaccine line aims to ensure a safe school reopening for these essential workers.
A dozen clinics will administer more than 10,000 doses to pre-registered teachers and school staff in grades pre-K to 12 by week’s end. Patients will be asked to verify their school affiliation and have proper identification when pre-registering through Meijer's vaccine registration process. Teachers in Indiana can also register by texting ISTA to 75049, which will help them identify as a K-12 school employee as vaccines continue to become available.
Meijer isn't releasing the location of the clinics, as registered customers will be contacted directly with an appointment time and location once an appointment window becomes available for them.
News of these teacher-exclusive clinics follows a series of vaccine clinics launched at Meijer stores last month in Indiana and Michigan to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to senior citizens.
"We are very pleased to continue to support the state of Indiana with this extremely important initiative," said Jason Beauch, VP of pharmacy for Meijer. "With nearly 40 stores in Indiana, our pharmacy teams have been working across the state for weeks to administer vaccine doses to seniors, and we're proud to broaden this outreach to include teachers, who are such an important part of our communities."
Throughout the pandemic, Meijer has lent a helping hand to teachers. In September, the retailer said that it was extending its 15% discount on classroom essentials for the entire school year.
As one of the retailers chosen to be a state and federal partner, Meijer has already worked directly with local school districts to administer more than 3,000 doses to teachers who registered with its vaccine registration process. Meijer will continue coordinating clinics in the coming weeks based on the number of doses it receives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
During the past few weeks, Meijer has administered more than 25,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses in Indiana, and more than 200,000 throughout the Midwest since mid-January.
Meijer's vaccine clinics aren't open to walk-ups. Participants must register through the retailer's online system. For non-teacher school staff, patients can text COVID to 75049, go online at clinic.meijer.com, or visit their local Meijer pharmacy and ask to register.
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.