Congressman discusses vaccine rollout at Discount Drug Mart

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Rep. Dave Joyce with Discount Drug Mart pharmacist Lisa Birman

CONCORD, Ohio — The Biden administration announced on Tuesday that it will be  increasing weekly shipments of COVID-19 vaccine doses to states, sending out 13.5 million this week, and doubling the amount going to retail pharmacies. Last week U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce visited the Discount Drug Mart store to learn about the retailer’s preparations to begin administering vaccines to residents of northeast Ohio. Discount Drug Mart is among the 21 pharmacy chains and independent networks that received COVID-19 vaccine shipments from the federal government this month.

Shipments began with close to one million doses per week to 6,500 retail pharmacies across the country but will eventually be sent to 40,000 retail and long-term care pharmacy locations nationwide. During his visit, the Ohio Republican received a walk-through of the pharmacy chain’s preparation to assist with the vaccine rollout in the Buckeye State, including vaccine storage.

“Distributing COVID-19 vaccines and administering them to as many people as quickly as possible needs to be our main focus because each vaccination gets us a step closer to stopping the spread of this virus and restoring our way of life,” said Joyce. “Pharmacies like those at Discount Drug Marts are critical to our efforts to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines. These folks successfully manage flu vaccinations for millions of Americans every year and, having spent today learning about their storage and preparation procedures, it’s clear they are more than capable of ramping up our vaccination campaign. I will continue to do everything I can at the federal level to boost vaccine distribution and support the pharmacies and hospitals working to keep our communities healthy.”

“It’s our biggest priority to be there for our communities during the pandemic when it comes to medications, supplies, and especially the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Discount Drug Mart senior vice president of pharmacy Pete Ratycz. “We have been preparing for this opportunity for months and are proud of being selected a COVID-19 vaccination provider. It’s a big responsibility and we are extremely confident in our ability to vaccinate age eligible Ohioans across all of our 76 locations. As an immunization destination, it’s an area we have great experience in.”

Joyce and many of his colleagues on the Problem Solvers Caucus this month called for an immediate vote on a standalone, $160 billion “Defeating COVID-19” vaccine distribution package. The package mirrors the vaccine proposal within the plan numerous Republican senators presented to President Biden and is aligned with the “Direct COVID Pandemic Response” portion of the White House’s American Rescue Plan. More information about the plan  is on Congressman Joyce’s webpage.


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