Dollar General, CDC in talks to accelerate COVID-19 vaccinations among rural communities

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Federal health officials may soon rely on major discount retailer Dollar General to accelerate the rollout of the coronavirus vaccines in rural areas nationwide.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky announced during the Health Action Alliance's virtual National Business Summit Tuesday that the agency has been in talks with the retailer to help in underserved areas where residents don't have as much access to big-box stores, according to USA Today.

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"We're exploring a promising collaboration with Dollar General stores, which have locations that include refrigeration capacity within 10 or 15 miles of our rural communities in all but four states," Walensky said.

A local Dollar General store in Bethlehem, North Carolina on June 5, 2019. (iStock)

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Dollar General confirmed on its website that it is still in conversations with the CDC "on ways the company can support the nation’s COVID-19 testing and vaccine efforts."

With more than 16,700 locations across the nation, the company believes that it is "well-positioned to assist in these efforts."

In fact, about 75% of its stores are within five miles of communities that have no more than 20,000 residents.

Rural areas face greater challenges with the vaccine rollout due to a lack of proper supplies and medical professionals compared to major cities across the country.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
DGDOLLAR GENERAL189.31+1.91+1.02%
WMTWALMART, INC.132.24-0.04-0.03%
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To combat this, major retailers and pharmacies are working to ensure equitable distribution of the vaccine within the communities they serve.

For instance, Walmart, which has already partnered with the federal government to administer vaccines, said it has nearly 4,000 Walmart locations "within one or more of the federally designated medically underserved areas" and plans to serve these communities through COVID-19 vaccination events.

Dollar General did not offer specific details regarding these efforts but will provide more information once it becomes available.

DOLLAR GENERAL WILL PAY WORKERS TO GET COVID-19 VACCINE

Representatives for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not respond to FOX Business' request for comment.

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