INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Beginning next week, school employees across Indiana will be prioritized at Meijer stores and vaccination clinics.
The retailer has partnered with the Indiana State Teachers Association in an effort to vaccinate 10,000 educators in a week.
Keith Gambill, president of the teachers’ association, said Meijer approached his group immediately after President Joe Biden told states to ramp up school staff vaccinations. “Meijer is based out of Michigan, and our neighbors to the north, they knew and understood that educators had not yet been rolled on to the plan so they knew that there were going to be a lot of us that were going to be in need as opposed to some of our neighboring states.”
A dozen clinics will be set up to give vaccinations to preregistered teachers of prekindergarten through Grade 12. Educators can get information on a Meijer webpage or by texting “ISTA” to 75049. Walks-ups will not be accepted.
“For non-teacher and school staff, patients can text COVID to 75049, go online at clinic.meijer.com or simply visit their local Meijer pharmacy and ask to register,” said a news release from Meijer.
The location of the clinics will remain a mystery. People will first have to register and then get contacted with an appointment time. When educators arrive, they will be asked to verify their school affiliation and have proper identification.
The Michigan-based retailer is not releasing the location of the clinics as registered customers will be contacted directly with an appointment time and location once an appointment window becomes available for them.
Frank Gugliemli, senior director of corporate communications for Meijer, said 25,000 Hoosiers have been vaccinated so far at Indiana stores.”Our clinics are really efficient. We’re able to run about 1,200 people through one clinic, in one day, in one Meijer store.”
Meijer is now both a federal and state partner in Indiana. Gugliemli said it will be up to state officials to decide how much is set aside for educators. Gambill hopes by April that every school staff member who wants the vaccine will have at least received their first shot. He believes that would put schools in a good position for the last quarter of the school year.
“It’s not going to be 100 percent and this won’t take care of every single thing, but we do believe it is a huge, very important first step,” Gambill said.
“We are very pleased to continue to support the State of Indiana with this extremely important initiative,” said . “With nearly 40 stores in Indiana, our pharmacy teams have been working across the state for weeks to administer vaccine doses to seniors, and we’re proud to broaden this outreach to include teachers, who are such an important part of our communities.”Jason Beauch, vice president of pharmacy, Meijer