While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to frustrate and paralyze wide swaths of U.S. businesses, the tiniest of silver linings appeared on Monday.
CVS announced it is hiring 15,000 workers in the coming weeks to try to keep up with the demands brought by the seasonal flu and increased coronavirus testing as the race for a vaccine continues. More than 10,000 of those new hires will be full-time and part-time licensed pharmacy technicians.
In addition to customer support jobs, which are largely work-from-home, recruiting efforts are focused on pharmacists, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, member benefit case professionals and distribution center employees.
“Additional team members typically are needed every flu season,” said Lisa Bisaccia, chief human resources officer for CVS Health, in a company news release. “However, we’re estimating a much greater need for trained pharmacy technicians this year given the continued presence of COVID-19 in our communities.”
The company also said it is marking this Tuesday’s Pharmacy Technician Day by “advocating for an expanded scope of practice that would allow trained pharmacy technicians to administer COVID-19 vaccinations under the supervision of an immunization-certified pharmacist.
“As an integral part of the healthcare system, pharmacy technicians can help fill the urgent need to safely and quickly scale distribution of a vaccine and extend the capacity of the healthcare workforce to address the pandemic.”
Earlier this year, the company rolled out community testing sites at more than 1,800 CVS drive-thru locations–that number has now grown to 4,000–with “swab-and-send diagnostics.” During an August conference call, officials said more than half of the locations are in communities with “significant need for support.”
The new and existing positions being filled are, for now, temporary and begin at 30 hours per week. The company said those positions have the potential to become permanent.