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CVS customer reacts to rumors of walkouts, staffing shortages slowing prescription orders and vaccinations

Heather Simons
Posted at 6:16 PM, Sep 27, 2023

KANSAS CITY, MO — Heather Simons lives with pre-existing health conditions and must take her medication.

“With that, I’m really proactive about vaccines,” said Simons.

She recently got a message from a CVS pharmacy after scheduling a COVID-19 vaccination.

“Due to unforeseen circumstances, they canceled all appointments,” said Simons.

Although frustrated by the cancellation, she says she understands after what she's heard CVS pharmacists are facing behind the counter.

“They are highly trained, they understand the risks that are being posed to the community with these demands on them so they don’t want to make a mistake,” said Simons.

With some locations closed last week because of staffing issues, KSHB 41 checked out different CVS locations across Kansas City.

Some stores were open, while others were closed.

A CVS spokesperson provided this statement:

“We’re committed to providing access to consistent, safe, high-quality health care to the patients and communities we serve. Our ability to serve patients in Kansas City was not impacted today and we are not seeing any abnormal activity in other markets," according to the statement from Amy Thibault, Lead Director, External Communications, CVS Pharmacy.

"We always seek to work with our pharmacists to directly address any concerns they may have – and have been meeting with teams in the Kansas City market this week. We want our pharmacy teams to be able to succeed, which is why we’ve taken several actions to support our local teams including providing additional pharmacy resources to support stores that may be at capacity, providing additional support for filling open positions and increasing staffing levels," Thibault said in the company's statement.

"We recognize that there’s an industry-wide shortage of health care providers – including pharmacists – and that this is a busy time of year due to the high customer demand for seasonal vaccinations. We’re focused on addressing the concerns raised by our pharmacists so we can continue to deliver the high-quality care our patients depend on,” Thibault said in the statement.