Wesfarmers’ (ASX:WES) Bunnings open to hosting COVID vaccine hubs

Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) subsidiary, Bunnings, is open to the government using its car parks for COVID-19 mass vaccination hubs. Lets take a closer look.

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woman waering face mask holding vial of covid-19 vaccine

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Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) subsidiary Bunnings may make its car parks available for COVID-19 mass vaccination hubs.

This comes as the country grapples with its delayed vaccine rollout caused by supply problems, logistical issues, and possible links between the AstraZeneca PLC (LSE: AZN) vaccine and rare blood clotting events for those under 50.

Verandas, vanities and vaccines at Bunnings?

Wesfarmers has “an open offer” to aid with the vaccine rollout at its Bunnings stores, according to a report in The Guardian today.

With 306 locations across Australia, each presumably fairly large in area, it could be useful in progressing the country’s vaccination program. This is not the first time Bunnings has helped with the coronavirus response. It previously allowed some of its car parks to be used as testing facilities.

Bunnings chief operating officer Deb Poole told The Guardian the company would be happy to assist with the rollout any way it can.

“We’ve previously supported the government and the community by hosting COVID-19 testing in some of our store car parks, and we’re always open to discussing further support directly with the government,” Ms Poole said.

Bunnings has not formally approached the government with the proposal, nor has it been approached by state or federal leaders. Rather, the Wesfarmers subsidiary is open to assisting the government again if requested.

Professor Catherine Bennett, chair of epidemiology at Deakin University, told the publication the use of Bunnings car parks could “normalise the vaccination process”.

The professor went on to say suburban and regional warehouse locations would also be ideal for providing the Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) vaccine.

The Health Department says vaccination rates may need to be as high as 95% to achieve herd immunity and stop the virus from spreading.

Achieving herd immunity is not just important for people’s health but also for the economy, and by extension, the S&P/ASX 200 (ASX: XJO).

Wesfarmers share price snapshot

At the time of writing, shares in Wesfarmers are swapping hands for $56.07, up 0.34%. Over the course of the past year, the share price has appreciated 53.8%. Just in the last month, the Wesfarmers share price increased more than 10%.

Alongside Bunnings, other Wesfarmers brands include Kmart, Officeworks, and Target. The company also has a minority interest in Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL).

Wesfarmers has a market capitalisation of approximately $63 billion.

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Motley Fool contributor Marc Sidarous has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of COLESGROUP DEF SET and Wesfarmers Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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