Walmart Canada plans to hold a “Vax-a-thon” event to help more Canadians get vaccinated against COVID-19, as the virus’ highly contagious Delta variant spreads rapidly worldwide.
On Aug. 19, COVID vaccines will be available on a walk-in basis, as well as through appointments, at more than 250 Walmart Canada pharmacies from coast to coast, the Mississauga, Ontario-based Walmart subsidiary said Wednesday.
For the company’s first-ever Vax-a-thon, pharmacists will set up at the front of stores to talk with customers and educate them about the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines. Shoppers who decide they want to receive a COVID immunization during the event will be able to do so on the spot.
“We have an enormous sense of pride to be part of the vaccine rollout to help get Canadians immunized. Our mission is to help Canadians live better, and part of that mission includes greater access to vaccines,” Shelly Kiroff, senior vice president of pharmacy, health and wellness at Walmart Canada, said in a statement. “From the very beginning, our goal has always been to help as many customers as possible, and our commitment to our customers' health and well-being is stronger than ever.”
Customers will be able to receive first or second COVID shots at participating pharmacies during the Vax-a-thon. Walk-in vaccinations will be administered as supply allows and in accordance with provincial eligibility requirements.
To date, Walmart pharmacists have administered more than 375,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses across Canada.
As in the United States, the Delta strain of COVID-19 now accounts for the majority of cases in Canada. About 71.4% of Canada’s total population (81.5% ages 12 and older) has received at least one COVID vaccine dose, and 61.9% (70.7% ages 12 and older) are fully vaccinated, according to data from Health Canada.
Five COVID-19 vaccinations currently are approved for use in Canada, including the two-shot Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and COVISHIELD (Verity Pharmaceuticals, Serum Institute of India and AstraZeneca) vaccines and the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Overall, Walmart Canada operates more than 400 stores and 337 pharmacies and has another 68 Accès Pharma chez Walmart franchise locations in Quebec, with over 1,300 pharmacists and affiliated pharmacists nationwide.