Pharmacy & Healthcare

COVID-19: A timeline of 'firsts'

An unprecedented moment in time, more than 18 months in the making. Revisit some of our pharmacy team members’ achievements that have defined the pandemic.

Steven Cohen, Walgreens Stories

Throughout the pandemic, people across the globe experienced many “firsts”—from wearing face coverings when leaving home to turning their living rooms into classrooms. It’s been a transformative year and a half, and some elements of the world and our business have changed forever. 

As we continue celebrating our pharmacy heroes during American Pharmacists Month, here are a few ways our team members rose to one of the biggest challenges of their lives and their profession.

Danny Wolak

  • May 2020: During the early days of the pandemic, specialty pharmacy manager Joynell Bean shares what it’s like to continue caring for patients with multiple sclerosis from inside a New Orleans hospital during a pandemic.
  • September 2020: Walgreens’ chief medical officer, Dr. Kevin Ban, addresses consumer attitudes and misconceptions about getting a flu shot during the pandemic.
  • November 2020: Luke Sauter and Tasha Polster lead vaccine distribution efforts in preparation for the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • December 2020: Pharmacist Kate Latta administers Walgreens’ first COVID-19 vaccine, to an elderly patient in an Ohio long-term care facility.

Kate Latta

  • January 2021: While other NFL stadiums host playoff games, Walgreens pharmacists administer thousands of vaccines to qualifying patients at the home of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.
  • February 2021: Josh Clossin administers the COVID-19 vaccine to a 103-year-old, two-time pandemic survivor who lived through the Spanish Flu.
  • March 2021: Walgreens and Uber join forces to address barriers to COVID-19 vaccine equity, administering more than 7,000 vaccines to community members across the Atlanta metropolitan area.
  • April 2021: “Roll Up Your Sleeves” TV special to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations airs, featuring President Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, WBA CEO Roz Brewer and more. Speaking of TV, Walgreens pharmacists also administer COVID-19 vaccines live on air to the anchors of NBC’s TODAY Show.
  • May 2021: To help ensure the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, Walgreens kicks off a multi-city mobile clinic tour, which also made its way to some of the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in September.

Mobile bus clinic

  • August 2021: Since the beginning of the pandemic, Walgreens has made additional investments in support of its team members, including adding 25,000 full-time and part-time pharmacy team members, raising the starting hourly wage for all team members to $15 an hour and introducing new bonuses and rewards for pharmacy teams.
  • September 2021: After losing two family members to COVID-19, Adrian Contreras, pharmacy manager in Woodburn, Oregon, continues to spread the word to help get his community members vaccinated.
  • October 2021: Thanks to the herculean efforts of tens of thousands of Walgreens pharmacy team members, the company surpasses vaccination goals, administering more than 40 million COVID-19 vaccinations to date.