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CVS Pharmacy has reportedly reached a deal with the Department of Justice that will ensure its online COVID-19 vaccine registration will be more accessible to people with disabilities.
Federal prosecutors said Monday that the company’s vaccine registration portal was not accessible to people with certain disabilities and in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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A CVS pharmacy is seen in Bloomsburg. | Getty Images
For example, a federal investigation found that the types of vaccine appointments offered, including COVID-19, influenza and pneumonia, were not read to screen reader users, prosecutors said.
Also, on the page where users can schedule an appointment time, screen reader users were told that all available times were checked, even though the user had not selected anything, prosecutors said.
Others who used the tab key instead of a mouse to navigate websites could not navigate past a request for insurance information, prosecutors said.
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"While web accessibility is always important, when it comes to critical health services like COVID-19 vaccination, making sure that everyone — regardless of disability — can access information and care is essential," U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island Zachary Cunha said in a statement. "This office is committed to vigorously enforcing the ADA to eliminate unnecessary barriers that stand in the way of lifesaving care."
There was no admission of wrongdoing by CVS in the agreement.
Woonsocket-based CVS Pharmacy, a division of CVS Health, has agreed to make sure that its vaccination scheduling portal complies with industry guidelines and to regularly test the website for possible problems.
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"We're committed to supporting the health of our communities, which includes making COVID-19 vaccinations accessible for all eligible patients," CVS Pharmacy said in a statement to FOX Business. "Our digital scheduling tool is frequently updated and enhanced to provide an equitable and optimal experience for users and we strive to ensure that it continues to provide a seamless experience for people with disabilities and to address any accessibility issues that may arise."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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