I signed up to get the Moderna booster at the local Kroger pharmacy the other day. I made an appointment about a week in advance. Here in Arizona it is called Frys.

A little back ground. I have a daughter that gets her prescriptions from the Frys pharmacy. She had been telling me about long lines stretching out through the store of people waiting to pick up prescriptions. She explained that she had waited for over two hours one afternoon a couple days ago, and at closing time they told the people in the line that they would not be getting their Rx that day, but would have to try again the next day.

The people working there were clearly under staffed. I am sure they were doing the best they could. This is a story of management failure in the extreme.

When I arrived a few minutes early for my appointment to get a booster shot, I saw the long line of people I had to assume were sick and in need of medicine stretching out of the pharmacy area, and down the main isle. They were all packed together, and many didn’t have masks. I searched the area for any kind of signage that could point me to where I would sign in, or wait for the person that gives the vaccines to come and get me. I found nothing. I finally went to the Rx drop off window, and found a sign that said “this window closed,” and an arrow pointing to the long line. I refused to give up. There were two people inside the pharmacy working, and I eventually flagged the one closest to me down and asked where I go for my booster shot appointment. She said, “there is only the one line for everything”.

I stood there pondering for a few moments. Is it really a smart thing to go stand in a line of sick people that are not being kept apart for two hours, and risk getting infected with Covid 19, and who knows what else to get a vaccine for what I am exposing myself long term to in this line? No, NO NO NO! I popped my head back through the window and even though she had no time to even care, I said “I am not going to be getting a booster shot here” and walked out.

What is the management of Kroger pharmacy thinking? Do they think this is acceptable practice? If your business cannot pay a wage that allows you to have a functioning staff that can reasonably and safely supply a product to the community, then you need to shut it down, and quit threatening peoples health and welfare. If you cannot enforce safety protocols like having people wait standing a few feet apart from each other, it is a no start. Something as simple as taking a number would allow you to stay at least marginally away from others while waiting for hours. But trying to provide vaccination services when you can’t even get a simple prescription in a bottle out the door is ridiculous. The prospect of sending the wrong medication out with a patient should be enough to make sure you have you services menu fully in line with your capability to provide those services.

When the vaccine first was made available, the county, and members of the medical community came up with a safe and effective plan to administer it. They used a local church where they could put a large quantity of people through in a reasonably short amount of time while keeping safety guidelines intact. Then when things started to slow down a bit someone had the idea that they should give this lucrative business to the local retail pharmacies.

I could go get a flu shot from my doctor, but I could not get a Covid 19 booster there because they gave that option to the retail pharmacies. This would be fine if the local pharmacies spent some of that profit they were after on getting qualified people into their pharmacies to do the work. And I am not saying the people doing the work in that pharmacy were not qualified. There just were not enough of them to be able to do that volume of work safely. How is it that your family doctor can easily handle the yearly vaccines for everything except this one?

I don’t know everything, that is for sure. But I know mismanagement when I see it. Hey Kroger, Get your shit together! This is just another example of putting profit before people.

How are the pharmacies in your area doing? Let me know.

Old guy. Ex Democrat. Believer in karma. I’ll get mine! You’ll get yours!