Over the next few weeks, Walmart plans to hold COVID-19 vaccination events at 43 locations in 18 states, particularly in communities with limited access to health care services.
Walmart said on Thursday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is allocating vaccine doses for the project, launched in partnership with local community leaders and nonprofit organizations.
Coronavirus vaccine administration sites will include drive-thru locations in store parking lots, in-store areas and off-site venues, the Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant said. The off-site locations will be operated in tandem with community groups, such as Casa del Inmigrante/Immigrant Home Foundation, a nonprofit serving immigrants in Las Vegas; the Indianapolis Urban League in Indiana; and the Jackson Housing Authority and Wishrock at the Golden Key Envision Center in Jackson, Miss.
Many of the locations for the vaccine events were chosen following an analysis of area demographics, local health needs and gaps in access to medical care, Walmart noted. The company said it pinpointed communities where it could make the greatest impact for populations most in need.
“We have two goals as we administer vaccines: first, to reach as many people as possible to enable reopening efforts, and second, to ensure equitable vaccine distribution across the communities we serve,” Dr. Cheryl Pegus, executive vice president of health and wellness at Walmart, said in a statement. “We have focused most of our events in medically underserved neighborhoods, and we are proud to play a part in increasing access to the vaccine in these communities.”
States where Walmart is slated to hold COVID vaccine events include Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia.
Walmart said the vaccination events expand its role within the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, launched earlier this month by the Biden administration to directly supply pharmacies with COVID-19 immunizations. The events also build on Walmart’s coronavirus vaccination program at more than 1,400 pharmacies in 35 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., in partnership with federal and state government.
“We will continue to engage within our communities to find new ways to reach additional customers with our vaccination programs as we work towards the eventual end of the pandemic,” according to Pegus.
Vaccine supply and eligibility varies based on state and local guidelines, Walmart said. Customers make vaccination appointments via Walmart’s online scheduler at walmart.com/COVIDvaccine. The company noted that appointment availability is limited and will be updated as supply permits. In addition, the digital scheduling tool will provide customers with a reminder when to return for the second dose. The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines each require two doses, with the second coming 21 days and 28 days, respectively, after the first shot. Customer can check Walmart locations offering COVID vaccinations at corporate.walmart.com/covid-vaccine.