CVS Health lets us inside the company’s efforts to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are administered as quickly and safely as possible.
We are confident that we are ready. We have more than 50,000 certified immunizers, pharmacists, registered nurses, and licensed vocational nurses as well as pharmaceutical technicians who can also vaccinate.
RW: What’s been your role with CVS, and how did COVID change that?
Christina Cacchioli: I’ve been with CVS for 19 years, and prior to COVID I was a field leader in New York City. After COVID, I was really involved with best practices to keep customers and colleagues safe. Then I was asked to join the COVID Task Force. We work very closely with the vaccination team as our team has shaped the implementation of the COVID-19 testing strategy, which now also includes antibody testing, and those two strategies closely align.
RW: How did CVS become part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program?
CC: The partnership was announced last November with Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CVS is the largest pharmacy services provider across the nation. On average, we are within 3 miles of 70 percent of Americans, so we were selected to be part of that program. We worked with the CDC to make sure we expressed our interests and become an integral part of the solution to provide and administer the vaccines. Right now, we’re administering in more than 1,200 locations as part of that partnership.
RW: More COVID vaccines are being distributed each week. What capacity does CVS have to administer doses?
CC: We have the capability to administer 20 million to 25 million doses a month. Right now, we are restricted by how many doses become available. Our allocation of the vaccine will continue to increase as time passes. And we are confident that we are ready. We have more than 50,000 certified immunizers, pharmacists, registered nurses, and licensed vocational nurses as well as pharmaceutical technicians who can also vaccinate.
RW: What has it been like for you personally to be an integral part of something that’s impacting so many people?
CC: Working on something so purpose-driven has been really rewarding, but it’s also been very challenging because we’re working on something we’ve never gone through before. We see friends and family getting sick, and that’s a reality check. Doing something unknown and new has been difficult, but our team has risen to the occasion.
RW: What is the most effective way for people to sign up for a COVID vaccine at CVS?
CC: We’ve created a fully digital end-to-end experience for our customers. Sign on to CVS.com or call CVS customer service. We’ve made it super easy to register for a vaccine appointment, and when you arrive at the store to have it administered, it should be seamless. We know the vaccine allocation makes it a little challenging right now, but check the website regularly—more appointments will become available.