CVS Health has announced its plan to hire an additional workforce of 15,000 employees ahead of the winter season. This is because researchers have anticipated an increase in the number of coronavirus cases as well as flu ahead of the season. The new hiring will help the company to meet the demand for coronavirus testing and flu shots. The company said that around two-thirds will be both full-time and part-time licensed pharmacy technicians. They will handle the task of administering coronavirus tests and to assist in serving medications. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has already issued guidelines in this regard. The order authorizes pharmacists to administer the vaccines to people above the age of 3 years.
Lisa Bisaccia, chief human resources officer at CVS Health, said an additional workforce is required during every flu season. “However, we are estimating that there will be a greater requirement of trained pharmacy technicians this year. This is because the COVID-19 virus has shown no signs of dropping in our communities.” The new hiring is over and above the already hired 50,000 people. It will also help the company in scaling the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine as and when it becomes available. Last month, it announced to add 2,000 more such test sites that take the total number of such sites to more than 4,000.
The drugstore chain has shared its plan to provide coronavirus vaccinations to long-term care facilities. For this, CVS has signed an agreement with the United States government. Once the vaccine is available, the company will provide it to nursing homes throughout the country. CVS Health chief executive officer Larry Merlo said the company will now be capable of administering around 4 million coronavirus tests in a single month. CVS shares were down after the announcement but the strong balance sheet of the company will let it invest in such initiatives. However, it is yet not clear by when vaccines will be available. Pfizer has said that its vaccine will be available for emergency use only after US Presidential elections. Johnson & Johnson had to stop its trials after a participant fell sick. AstraZeneca (AZN) too was forced to halt its trials because of similar complications. There are over 8 million COVID-19 cases in the United States. Around 220,000 people have so far lost their lives because of the disease.
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