Walgreens automates COVID-19 vaccine scheduling

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Walgreens is extending access to COVID-19 vaccine information and scheduling with an artificial intelligence (AI)-based bot.

The drugstore giant, which is receiving a weekly federal allocation of more than 480,000 vaccine doses for distribution across 26 U.S. states and jurisdictions, is now deploying an intelligent conversational voicebot from Nuance Communications. The voicebot will help customers schedule their COVID-19 vaccine appointments 24 hours a day, seven days a week, beyond Walgreens’ existing web-based vaccine portal.
Walgreens customers can now call 1-800-Walgreens or a Walgreens store and speak in English or Spanish to the Nuance voicebot to get answers to COVID-19 questions, confirm eligibility according to applicable guidelines, and schedule their vaccine appointments wherever vaccines are available. The Nuance solution also sends the customer an SMS text to confirm appointments after the call.

"Ensuring equitable access to care is essential," said Robert Weideman, executive VP and GM, Nuance. "Using our proven voice- and AI-powered solutions to help as many Walgreens customers as possible experience a more modern, convenient, and secure process for scheduling their COVID vaccine appointments is one of the most important outcomes we can achieve."

The option to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments over the phone is available in English or Spanish to all individuals seeking a COVID-19 vaccination appointment at Walgreens.