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Walmart, Walgreens, CVS to Offer COVID-19 Vaccines

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Feb. 11, 2021 -- Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Walgreens will begin offering COVID-19 vaccines on Friday through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, joining a list of other national retail chains that will give shots to people who want a coronavirus vaccine.

CVS Health will also offer vaccinations on Friday in 11 states, with the scheduling system slated to open on Thursday. Customers can book an appointment on the CVS website or CVS Pharmacy app or by calling the customer service line.

“Individuals eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations are asked to use the appropriate digital channels or contact customer service to check for appointment availability, as opposed to contacting individual CVS Pharmacy locations,” the company said in a statement.

Costco, Kroger, Publix, and Rite Aid are also offering appointments, and more retail sites will open soon. The federal government is partnering with 21 national pharmacy chains and independent pharmacy networks to dole out doses, according to CBS News.

More than 1,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies in 22 states will receive federal vaccine allocations this week, Walmart announced in a statement, placing an emphasis on locations that will reach customers in underserved communities with limited access to health care. Walmart and Sam’s Club are also giving vaccinations through state allocations in 11 states and the District of Columbia.

“Ninety percent of the country lives within 10 miles of a Walmart. We’re at the heart of many rural and underserved communities, and we are committed to providing access to vaccines as groups become eligible,” Cheryl Pegus, MD, executive vice president for health and wellness for Walmart, said in the statement.

“Vaccinations to achieve widespread immunity are important for reopening across the country,” she said.

Although the initial vaccine supply is low, the company said, Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacy technicians can expand vaccine access as more doses are shipped each week. Walmart has worked with the CDC to identify which locations should receive vaccine supplies based on population density, customer demographics, infection rates, and local health care access.

Eligible customers can schedule a vaccine appointment on the Walmart website or Sam’s Club website once appointments open. A membership isn’t required to get a shot at Sam’s Club.

Also on Friday, Walgreens will offer vaccinations in 15 states based on state and local guidelines, which could include health care workers, residents over age 65, and people with certain health conditions. When appointments are available, eligible customers can sign up on the Walgreens website.

“Walgreens was one of the first pharmacies to begin administering COVID-19 vaccinations in December to long-term care facility staff and residents, and we look forward to leveraging our experience to support the federal government and CDC in expanding access to these vaccines,” John Standley, president of Walgreens, said in a statement.

“Our pharmacy teams have already provided nearly 2 million COVID-19 vaccinations and stand ready with their expertise to help educate and vaccinate additional Americans, including those in rural and underserved communities,” he said.

The U.S. has shipped nearly 66 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, according to a CDC tally updated on Wednesday. More than 33.7 million people have received the first part of the two-dose shot, and 10.4 million people have gotten both doses.

Other retailers are offering COVID-19 vaccines in select stores by appointment. Check the websites for locations, to see if you’re eligible, and to find appointment times:

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Sources

CBS News: “Pharmacies now offering COVID-19 vaccines: Here’s what you need to know.”

Walmart: “Walmart and Sam’s Club Pharmacies Administer COVID-19 Vaccines Through Federal Retail Pharmacy Program,” “COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduler.”

Sam’s Club: “COVID-19 Vaccine.”

Walgreens: “COVID-19 Vaccine,” “Walgreens to Expand COVID-19 Vaccinations in Stores as Part of Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.”

CVS Health: “COVID-19 Vaccine,” “CVS Health provides update on availability of COVID-19 vaccines, Feb. 8, 2021.”

CDC: “COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States.”

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