Woolworths to turn Big W stores into coronavirus vaccination hubs for employees

Anton NilssonNCA NewsWire
Woolworths is opening vaccine hubs for some of its employees. NCA NewsWire / Nikki Short
Camera IconWoolworths is opening vaccine hubs for some of its employees. NCA NewsWire / Nikki Short Credit: News Corp Australia

Woolworths is planning to set up its own vaccination hubs in western Sydney to deliver coronavirus jabs to employees.

The supermarket chain will use two closed Big W department stores in Wetherill Park and Canterbury-Bankstown for the vaccination drive.

Woolies employees who live in the areas – which are among Sydney’s worst affected suburbs – and their households will be able to get their jabs there.

“As Australia’s largest private employer, we’re delighted to be playing our part in accelerating the national vaccine rollout with the federal government,” Woolworths head of Covid-19 response Ross Spencer said.

Another vaccination hub is planned for a Big W store in Carnes Hill.

Woolworths is planning to set up its own vaccination hubs. NCA NewsWire / Nikki Short
Camera IconWoolworths is planning to set up its own vaccination hubs. NCA NewsWire / Nikki Short Credit: News Corp Australia

The Big W stores, which are owned by Woolworths, have been shut since the Sydney lockdown began.

Woolworths said it would work with the Commonwealth to open vaccine hubs in other areas of the country as well.

“Making vaccine access easy and simple is key to driving uptake,” Mr Spencer said.

“We’ve seen that in our distribution centres already and we’re seeing it now as we stand up these vaccination hubs.”

Security services firm International SOS will be providing the jabs and reporting the progress to NSW Health.

Woolworths said a pilot clinic in Wetherill Park had delivered more than 200 doses. The supermarket chain said it had also administered more than 7500 jabs in pop-up clinics at warehouses since July.

Supermarkets are essential businesses that are allowed to remain open through the lockdown, and numerous transmission scares have already occurred in food stores since the current outbreak began.

Because of the risks involved in their frontline work, grocery store employees and warehouse staff were given priority access to Pfizer jabs in July.

Originally published as Woolworths to turn Big W stores into coronavirus vaccination hubs

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