CVS says what many had feared: vaccination rates keep slowing even as variants spread

Sign for COVID-19 vaccine outside CVS
Signs offering COVID-19 vaccinations are seen outside of a CVS pharmacy in Washington, DC on May 7, 2021. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images
  • CVS CEO Karen Lynch says that vaccine rates are slowing down “despite the impact of new variants.”
  • 348 million doses of the vaccine have been given, and 165 million people are fully vaccinated.
  • Some companies have decided to mandate vaccines for employees returning to the office.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

CVS CEO Karen Lynch said that vaccine rates are slowing down “despite the impact of new variants” in a quarterly earnings update Wednesday.

“Our effort to make the vaccine accessible and convenient for all Americans continues. However, vaccination rates are slowing from a peak in April despite the impact of new variants,” she told investors.

Despite concerns over the Delta variant of the virus, more than 1,000 counties in the Southeastern and Midwestern US have a less than 30% vaccination rate, Insider previously reported. Only 165 million Americans are fully vaccinated, bringing the vaccine rate to 50.4% according to data from Our World Data.

As the world struggles to eradicate the virus, some large companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix are requiring that employees must be fully vaccinated before returning to work in the office. In some states, however, vaccination requirements have been met with ire by Republicans.

CVS’s revenue grew by 11% in the second quarter compared to last year, and the company also announced that it will be raising its minimum wage to $US15 ($AU20).

“Overall, despite the slowdown in vaccine administration, we continue to be pleased with our expanded and strengthened customer relationships,” CDFO Shawn M. Guertin, Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President, of CVS Health Corp said. “stemming from our local presence and see ongoing customer connectivity from the significant role we play in combating the pandemic in our local communities.”