C-store Retailers Assist in COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

GPM, Stewart's Shops and Wawa are helping the communities they serve have access to the vaccines.

NATIONAL REPORT — Deemed essential businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, convenience store operators played an important role in mitigating the spread of the coronavirus through social distancing measures, installing plexiglass at the checkout, enhancing cleaning and sanitizing procedures, integrating mobile ordering, delivery and pickup, and more.

Now, operators are doing their part in ensuring the communities in which they serve have access to COVID-19 vaccines. Here's are the latest round of retailers who are partnering with local pharmacies and municipalities to make sure everyone has the opportunity to get vaccinated.

GPM Investments LLC

GPM Investments is partnering with the Lenowisco Health Department to hold a one-day COVID-19 vaccination walk-up clinic at the operator's fas Mart store at 1392 Wadlow Gap Road, in Gate City, Va.

The mobile vaccination will take place on June 2 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. No appointment is necessary.

"We are always looking for ways to aid our local communities," said GPM Investments Senior Divisional HR Manager at GPM Investments Shannon Trovinger. "Partnering with the local health department to provide eligible members of the community with access to the COVID-19 vaccine is just one way we can do that."

The Lenowisco Health Department will offer the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at their mobile units for eligible individuals, which will be administered by public health nursing professionals of the Virginia Department of Health.

The goal of the mobile walk-up clinic is to educate those who wish to learn more about the vaccine, while also reaching members of the community who may have experienced barriers receiving a vaccine at fixed sites, the entities stated.

"While turnout has been great, we recognize that some COVID-19 fixed vaccination sites can offer some challenges in terms of being able to reach the whole community," said Virginia Department of Health Public Health Emergency Coordinator Michael Whitaker. "We're thrilled to be partnering with GPM to offer a convenient walk-up clinic at their fas Mart store location in Gate City and look forward to providing this service to the local community."

Based in Richmond, Va., GPM is a wholly owned subsidiary of ARKO Corp. It operates or supplies stores in 33 states and Washington, D.C. It is the sixth largest convenience store chain in the United States, with 3,000 locations comprised of approximately 1,350 company-operated stores and 1,600 dealer sites to which it supplies fuel.

Stewart's Shops

Saratoga Springs, N.Y.-based Stewart's Shops is partnering with Ulster County, N.Y., to offer walk-in vaccines at store locations throughout Ulster County beginning with three locations in Milton, Rosendale and Ellenville.

The first 100 residents to be vaccinated at each site will get their choice of either free coffee or ice cream.

"We are proudly partnering with the Ulster County Department of Health to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to the general public in three of our Ulster County shops," said Stewart's Shops President Gary Dake. "We're doing everything we can to help ensure the health and safety of all our customers and partners and believe that getting a vaccine is the best thing we can do to protect one another."

Ulster County will be the first in the state to partner with Stewart's Shops to offer vaccines to customers and the public. These locations will be key to the county's continued efforts to ensure all residents can receive the coronavirus vaccine conveniently, safely and equitably, noted County Executive Pat Ryan.

"Like many residents in Ulster County, my daily commute includes a morning stop at Stewart’s," said County Executive Pat Ryan. "Our partnership with Stewart's Shops is another creative way for Ulster County to ensure we are making the COVID-19 vaccine as accessible as possible to our residents. Vaccines are safe, effective, and will allow us to bring back a sense of normalcy to our community. I encourage all of our residents to get vaccinated."

Both the Johnson & Johnson and the Moderna vaccines will be available at the following locations on the following dates:

  • May 26 — 1872 Route 9 West in Milton from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • June 3 — 99 South Main St. in Ellenville from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • June 4 — 212 Main St. in Rosendale from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Saratoga Springs-based Stewart's Shops operates more than 330 stores in New York and Vermont.

Wawa Inc.

Wawa celebrated the grand opening of its newest location in Morgantown, Pa., by hosting a vaccine clinic on May 20. The convenience retailer partnered with Rite Aid to run the clinic, located at 2837 W. Main St. from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was available to 100 people over the age of 18. No fees or registration was required, reportedPennsylvania News Today.

"As new stores open throughout the year, we not only bring a new Wawa to the community, but continue our commitment to safety and growth," said Wawa President and CEO Chris Gheysens.

Based in Pennsylvania, Wawa operates more than 900 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, and Washington, D.C.