Texas grocery store chain H-E-B plans to implement an online scheduling tool for customers who want the COVID-19 vaccine. H-E-B pharmacies have run out of stock of vaccine doses. The popular Texas grocery store has applied to get more doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to administer to two sets of high priority groups.
The Logistics of Vaccination
The two COVID-19 vaccines approved for emergency use are the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. H-E-B had been administering the Moderna vaccine to those who fell under the qualifiers either phase 1A or phase 1B. Phase 1A is the top priority group. This first phase includes healthcare workers and those who assist the vulnerable, such as assisted living employees and nursing home residents.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, those who fall under Phase 1B for vaccination include:
People 65 years of age and older
People 16 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition that putsthem at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19, such as but not limited to:
Chronic kidney disease
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies
Solid organ transplantation
Obesity and severe obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher)
Sickle cell disease
Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Once H-E-B gets more doses of the vaccine, they will let those who qualify schedule an appointment online. Those interested should check out this H-E-B pharmacy link or the H-E-B newsroom for updates. H-E-B pharmacies will not accept walk-ins to get the COVID vaccine. Every COVID vaccine vial has ten doses. Due to the fragility of the vaccine each vial must be administered within hours of being opened.
The Moderna vaccine is approved for ages 18 and up, while the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is approved for ages 16 and up. It must be noted that these two phases are how Texas is choosing to prioritize vaccine recipients. The phases can differ state-by-state.
Here Everything’s Better
H-E-B was recognized as “Grocer of the Year” by Grocery Dive due to the Texas grocery chain’s stellar response to the pandemic. H-E-B cut store hours back in March (most H-E-B’s are typically open until at least midnight or one in the morning, with some H-E-B’s operating 24/7) and started a delivery service dedicated to seniors so they wouldn’t have to go to the store themselves.
Many H-E-B shoppers of all ages could order delivery through the H-E-B app as well. H-E-B required all shoppers to wear masks starting back in March 2020.
The grocery store chain also permanently raised many employee salaries by $2 dollars an hour, and gave employees a $500 dollar bonus as a thank you for working through 2020. H-E-B was also named the Best Supermarket of 2020 by Food & Wine Magazine.
H-E-B has demonstrated the effectiveness of preparing for a pandemic and continues to do so with the vaccine administration. The store remains a vital part of many a Texan’s life, not just for food but for health and safety as well.