CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) revealed Monday that it is prepared to hire 15,000 workers in preparation of a possible increment in COVID-19 and flu cases throughout the upcoming season. Over 10,000 of those employees will be licensed pharmacy technicians who can assist customers with medications and perform COVID-19 tests.
“Additional team members typically are needed every flu season,” Lisa Bisaccia, chief human resources officer of CVS Health, said in a statement. “However, we’re estimating a much greater need for trained pharmacy technicians this year given the continued presence of COVID-19 in our communities.”
Public health officials have cautioned it is likely that coronavirus cases will increase as the colder months near. Average daily cases have already grown by a minimum of 5% within 39 states, according to information gathered by Johns Hopkins University. Over 63,600 new cases were reported in the U.S. alone on Thursday.
A bigger workforce is expected to help CVS once COVID-19 vaccines are approved and available to the public. Federal officials would need to provide authorization before pharmacy technicians could administer the vaccines with the supervision of an immunization-certified pharmacist.
Since the start of the pandemic, CVS has worked to broaden its staffing and services. The health-care company now has over 4,000 COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites and has completed almost 5 million tests.
According to company spokesman Joe Goode, CVS anticipates to administer 18 million flu shots this year, a big difference compared to last year’s 11 million.