Safeway Confirms Theft of Vaccine Records

138 paper COVID-19 vaccine consent forms stolen on Sept. 8
Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
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Safeway sent notifications by U.S. mail to all individuals that it could identify as being impacted by the stolen COVID-19 vaccine consent forms.

Albertsons Cos.’ Safeway banner has confirmed that on Sept. 8, an employee who facilitated Safeway’s off-site COVID vaccine clinic at the Fort Stanton Recreation Center, located at 1812 Erie Street SE in Washington, D.C., was the victim of a theft. Among other stolen items were 138 paper COVID-19 vaccine consent forms for patients who visited this site on Sept. 2, 4 or 7. Safeway immediately notified law enforcement and started an internal investigation.

The grocery banner currently has no indications that any of the stolen information has been misused; nevertheless, on Sept. 16, Safeway sent notifications by U.S. mail to all individuals that it could identify as being affected.

“Safeway Pharmacies make every effort to handle patient records with the utmost care and privacy, and we deeply regret this situation,” said Amir Masood, Safeway director of pharmacy operations, Eastern division. “We notified the impacted patients that we could identify, and we are taking measures to avoid a future occurrence, including improving training to reinforce controls and policies related to paper forms.”

Safeway is also asking anyone who attended the clinic on Sept. 2, 4 or 7, to call 202-941-6412, so that the grocer may ensure that its electronic records accurately reflect patients’ vaccination status.

Albertsons enhanced its pharmacy COVID-19 offerings in July, including rolling out digital vaccine records.

In addition, the food retailer and Cambridge, Mass.-based Moderna teamed up to sponsor a COVID-19 vaccine map on Nextdoor to make locating a vaccine appointment easier. Also, for customers who need a ride to their vaccine appointments, Albertsons has partnered with San Francisco-based Lyft to offer discounted rides.

Albertsons was one of the first food retailers to sign on to the Federal Pharmacy Partnership Strategy for COVID-19 Vaccination in November 2020. As of July 2021, it had administered 6 million COVID-19 vaccinations at its 1,700 pharmacies nationwide.

Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons operates more than 2,200 retail stores with 1,700-plus pharmacies, 400 associated fuel centers, 22 dedicated distribution centers and 20 manufacturing facilities. The company’s stores predominantly operate under the Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw’s, Star Market, United Supermarkets, Kings Food Markets and Haggen banners. Albertsons is No. 8 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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