Walmart is prepared to administer the COVID-19 vaccine at its pharmacies nationwide when asked to do so, according to a Dec. 23 blog post by Dr. Tom Van Gilder, chief medical officer for Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart. Currently, it is administering the recently-approved Moderna vaccine to health care workers at select Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs in the state of New Mexico.
“The New Mexico Department of Health carefully chose store locations to help ensure that the vaccine is safely administered in rural areas that need help supporting vaccine distribution to health care workers,” Van Gilder stated. “Because our pharmacists will be on the front lines of administering these vaccines, we are offering our first doses to them. The first Walmart pharmacist to receive a vaccine in one of our facilities was pharmacy clinical service manager Alexis Abbatantuono, a 13-year associate, and she is excited to support her community. We know the vital role our stores, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will play in the immunization of communities across the country, so keeping them healthy and safe is a critical first link in the chain of wide vaccine distribution.”
Van Gilder said Walmart is very thankful to its pharmacists and health care workers who’ve been working tirelessly to serve the health care needs of their communities, and the company also is proud of its other front-line workers who’ve kept communities supplied with food and other necessities.
Walmart is in discussions with other states to support their vaccine administration efforts. The company also is preparing its 5,000-plus pharmacies at Sam’s Clubs and Walmart stores to be ready when the time comes to administer to essential workers, first responders and older Americans in “Priority 1B” and “Priority 1C,” based on the recent recommendation by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
“We will also be prepared for all Americans to receive the vaccine in the spring and summer when the broad rollout happens,” Van Gilder stated. “In the meantime, we will continue to protect ourselves and each other by wearing a face covering, maintaining social distance and practicing recommended hygiene practices.”