CVS assisting employers with on-site vaccine clinics through Return Ready platform

CVS Health is now assisting employers with on-site COVID-19 vaccination clinics through its Return Ready platform.

The tool first launched last summer to help employers track COVID cases and testing among their workforces, and it offers a dashboard to track data in real time. The platform has been expanded to offer multiple vaccine options, including on-site clinics administered by CVS.

Employers that use Return Ready can also track vaccine scheduling and vaccination rates among workers, the healthcare giant announced.

CVS said it is managing on-site vaccination clinics for 18 employers across 51 sites and can procure doses more directly now that supply has grown significantly. Its first on-site clinic was conducted for Delta Airlines on Feb. 21.

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Other clients that have contracted with Return Ready for vaccine clinics include the New York Shipping Association and the city of Philadelphia, CVS said.

Sree Chaguturu, M.D., chief medical officer of CVS Caremark, told Fierce Healthcare that the testing tools initially launched as part of Return Ready provided a strong baseline on which to build the vaccine piece.

"With Return Ready testing, what we had built out with what we had before was a consultative approach in understanding, 'What does an employer need?'" he said.

The program is also built as a turnkey approach with data analytics available to ensure employers can track vaccination, he said.

Chaguturu said that on-site vaccination clinics can get at two major barriers to getting the shot: ease of access and hesitancy. By having the vaccines available in the workplace, people who may struggle to get to other sites can get vaccinated more easily.

In addition, people who are concerned about the safety of the vaccines, and as such are hesitant to get theirs, are more willing if they see it administered to people they know safely, CVS has found, Chaguturu said.

"There is what I would call a network effect," he said. "If you see your colleagues getting vaccinated, that might help you in feeling reassured around the safety of these vaccines."

CVS added that increasing vaccination rates will not make the need for testing go away. For Delta, for instance, CVS has administered more than 29,123 vaccinations to its employees across five sites and has administered 181,442 tests.

Testing will continue to be offered as a tool within the Return Ready platform, CVS said.