Retail giant Walmart is poised to administer the coronavirus vaccine at thousands of locations, the company announced on Wednesday.
Lisa Smith, the company’s director of health and wellness, said in a release early Wednesday that the company is “operationally and clinically ready” to administer the vaccine at 5,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club (which Walmart owns) locations.
“Right now we have over 5,000 Walmart store and Sam’s Club locations that are operationally and clinically ready to administer vaccines in our facilities and in communities through vaccination events,” Smith said in the statement.
Vaccinations will happen at Walmart locations in 10 states, including New Jersey, Georgia, South Carolina, New Mexico, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Texas and Illinois.
The update comes after months of preparation as the company geared up and strategized on how best to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
“As we prepare this week to begin administering COVID-19 vaccines in Maryland, Texas, Delaware, Indiana and the District of Columbia to eligible populations as determined by each district and state, we know our pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are ready. It has been a year of hard work and preparation to get to this point. And as more people become eligible for vaccination, it’s a good time to take a look back at how we got here,” Smith said.
Smith said planning for the rollout began in the summer 2020 in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health and Human Services (HHS).
“We’re already hearing great feedback from our patients in locations where we’re administering vaccines according to state eligibility, like our Sam’s Club in Greenville, South Carolina. It’s exciting to see the gratitude and the optimism these patients have as they get vaccinated. We can’t wait until more people across the country have the opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine once their state has the allocation and determines eligibility to broader groups of people,” Smith added.
“It's taken a lot of preparation to get to where we are, and our pharmacists are ready and excited to get started taking the fight to COVID-19 by administering vaccines. We are all in this together,” the statement concluded.