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Bill Ackman Pushes 3 Retailers to Get Directly Involved in U.S. Coronavirus Vaccine Drive

By Eric Volkman - Jan 22, 2021 at 7:16AM

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The high-profile hedge fund manager feels that Target, Walmart, and Kroger could be a big help in getting Americans inoculated.

Bill Ackman, the famed activist investor who founded and leads Pershing Square, has some thoughts about how the U.S. can get on top of the coronavirus outbreak. In a tweet that has garnered quite a bit of attention, Ackman wrote that Target (TGT 2.46%), Walmart (WMT 0.08%), and Kroger (KR 1.51%) should get directly and comprehensively involved in the distribution and administration of the vaccines.

"Why don't .@Target@Walmart. @kroger become our vaccine distribution hubs," he wrote. "They have large parking lots, trained Rx staff and weekly customer visits. Outdoor shots would minimize risk and inspire wary customers to get one. Every day we wait more die and variant risk increases."

Parking lot inoculations are not unusual with the coronavirus vaccines, as mass immunization is the goal. Some companies have utilized their large parking lots for this purpose, although frequently it is an outside party providing the shots.

Medical professional conferring with patient located in the driver's seat of a car.

Image source: Getty Images.

Previous to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorizing the two vaccines currently making the rounds -- Moderna's mRNA-1273 and Pfizer/BioNTech's BNT162b2 -- numerous companies utilized their parking lots for coronavirus testing. Many of these facilities, such as ones operated by Rite Aid, are still in use for that purpose.

These days, municipal authorities are commandeering large public or semi-public properties for vaccination purposes. In Los Angeles, for example, the lot of the Forum arena is currently being used as a vaccine administration site for those who qualify for a shot.

As a perennial gadfly on the market, not to mention a very rich one, Ackman commands a lot of attention. What he says is entirely accurate, so it's possible at least one of the mentioned trio could step up to lend the necessary assistance.

So far, neither Target, Walmart, nor Kroger has formally responded to Ackman's tweet. 


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Stocks Mentioned

The Kroger Co. Stock Quote
The Kroger Co.
$48.45 (1.51%) $0.72
Pfizer Inc. Stock Quote
Pfizer Inc.
$51.59 (3.00%) $1.50
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Stock Quote
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
$123.72 (0.08%) $0.10
Target Corporation Stock Quote
Target Corporation
$150.42 (2.46%) $3.61
Rite Aid Corporation Stock Quote
Rite Aid Corporation
$8.69 (7.95%) $0.64
Moderna, Inc. Stock Quote
Moderna, Inc.
$144.27 (0.70%) $1.01
BioNTech SE Stock Quote
BioNTech SE
$134.04 (1.32%) $1.75

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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