Drugstore giant CVS Health will hire 15,000 full and part-time workers as the company braces for an influx of customer needs during seasonal influenza season and the ongoing pandemic of Covid-19.
CVS, which has 300,000 U.S. employees across its operations that include 10,000 drugstores and the Aetna health insurance unit, said the 15,000 hires to be made in the fourth quarter of this year are a mix of new and existing openings with more than 10,000 of the new roles for full- and part-time licensed pharmacy technicians at CVS pharmacies.
Pharmacies have been in a unique position as among the few businesses that remained open in states and cities that earlier this year issued “stay at home” orders for their citizens amid the coronavirus outbreak. That triggered a rush of customers and a hiring spree to fill 50,000 jobs earlier this year.
But this time, drugstores are expecting a rush of customers in what is expected to be an unprecedented number of Americans getting their seasonal flu shots and even more store traffic should drugstore chains including CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and Rite Aid get U.S. approval to administer vaccinations against Covid-19 once they are approved. There is no approved Covid-19 vaccine though Pfizer may seek an emergency approval in late November.
Already, drugstores and their pharmacy staffs have been granted more authority to administer vaccines. In August, for example, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced plans to allow pharmacists to administer all of their scheduled vaccinations for children as young as three years old.
Though pharmacists are trained and educated in how to administer vaccinations, doctors and others in the past lobbied to prevent them from administering these shots saying they lacked training and that physicians should handle immunizations.
Over time, however, states have eased scope of practice rules and the federal government has changed regulations to allow pharmacists to administer vaccines, particularly in times of public health crises like the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic and now, Covid-19. These drugstore professionals now provide vaccines against Shingles, pneumonia and Whooping cough.
And now CVS and other drugstore chains are also pushing for expanded authority from the federal government for pharmacy technicians, which they say will be critical once a vaccine against Covid-19 is approved and tens of millions of Americans will need and want to be vaccinated. Pharmacy technicians, working under the supervision of a pharmacist, already have the legal ability to administer vaccines in a half dozen states, CVS said.
“Additional team members typically are needed every flu season,” CVS Health, chief human resources officer Lisa Bisaccia said. “However, we’re estimating a much greater need for trained pharmacy technicians this year given the continued presence of Covid-19 in our communities. These jobs offer a rewarding career opportunity, with flexible hours, advancement potential and a supportive environment while helping people on their path to better health.”
Source: Forbes – Business