Oct. 19 (UPI) -- CVS Health said Monday it will immediately hire 15,000 additional employees to cope with an expected surge in COVID-19 and seasonal influenza cases during the fall and winter months.
The U.S. pharmacy chain announced two-thirds of the new workers will be pharmacy technicians, who help administer COVID-19 tests and dispense medications.
"We're estimating a much greater need for trained pharmacy technicians this year given the continued presence of COVID-19 in our communities," CVS Chief Human Resources Officer Lisa Bisaccia said.
The new hiring was announced amid rising cases nationwide and fears of a "twindemic" of COVID-19 and influenza.
The United States has seen nearly 17% more cases during the past two weeks, according to the health news website Stat.
CVS and competitor Walgreens were tapped by the Department of Health and Human Services last week to administer free vaccinations to residents and workers at nursing homes nationwide, once a vaccine is approved for use against the coronavirus.
Under the program, CVS and Walgreens will schedule and coordinate on-site clinic dates directly with each facility -- likely a total of three visits over two months to administer two doses.