CVS looking to hire 25,000 people ahead of possible coronavirus vaccine booster surge

CVS looking to hire 25,000 people ahead of possible coronavirus vaccine booster surge
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CVS Pharmacy announced on Monday that it would be hiring 25,000 people during a one-day event in September to help with the expected increase in COVID-19 vaccine booster shots as well as annual flu shots.

The majority of the positions that CVS will be hiring for are "full-time, part-time, and temporary licensed pharmacists, trained pharmacy technicians and nurses," though the pharmacy chain will also be hiring more retail store associates.

Candidates will be recruited during a one-day hiring event on Sept. 24. 

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The announcement comes just days after an FDA advisory panel voted in favor of recommending a third booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for those over the age of 65. The panel voted against recommending the booster shot for all eligible patients however.

"In addition to flu vaccinations, the accelerated hiring campaign will aid the company in administering COVID-19 booster shots, pending regulatory approval, while continuing to offer shots to those who have yet to be vaccinated for COVID-19 and patients seeking testing at CVS Pharmacy locations across the country," said CVS.

CVS Executive Vice President Neela Montgomery said that while more staffers are always needed during flu season, "this year we're looking for even more."

"With the continued presence of COVID-19 in our communities, we're estimating a much greater need for pharmacists, trained pharmacy technicians, nurses, and retail store associates. These jobs offer a rewarding opportunity to really make an impact on public health in our country," said Montgomery.

Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health said on Sunday that despite the panel's vote, he still expected a booster shot to eventually be made available to more eligible individuals.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 83 percent of the U.S. population over the age of 65 is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, meaning more than 45 million people are likely to soon be eligible for a booster shot of vaccine.

Those who received their initial vaccine doses from Moderna or Johnson & Johnson may be eligible for a booster shot from Pfizer, though health officials have said that research into mixing doses is still ongoing.