TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Walmart is set to offer the COVID-19 vaccine in Texas and six other states this week and next, a company spokesperson confirmed on Friday.
The company will begin administering the vaccine in South Carolina, Georgia, New Jersey, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, and Texas, as well as Chicago and Puerto Rico. Details about where appointments will be made have not been released as of Friday afternoon.
Walmart says the vaccine is being offered to “specific population groups as determined by each state.”
The company says that as more people become eligible to receive the vaccine in the future, it plans to offer doses seven days a week at its pharmacies, through planned in-store vaccination clinics and through large community events.
Local Brookshire’s Grocery Co., Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid stores also have stepped up to vaccinate Americans in what is the largest and most complex immunization effort in U.S. history.
“We’re having to be flexible as we try to operate state-by-state, but we feel like it’s absolutely the right thing to do, to lean into this and help figure it out,” Walmart Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon said at the Consumer Electronics Show last week. “That’s the approach that we’re taking.”
Walmart says it’s preparing by training thousands of pharmacists and pharmacy techs, building a new digital scheduling tool to make appointments “easy,” and partnering with state and federal agencies as it awaits allocations.
The company says it stands ready to help in two key areas to ensure vaccine access for all Americans: by providing access to shots in ‘health care deserts,’ or rural locations where there are few options for customers to find medical care, and through COVID-19 vaccination events in underserved communities.
According to the retail giant, the company has 4,000 Walmart locations positioned within one or more of the federally designated medically underserved areas or where there are limited pharmacy options.
It’s also planning to partner with community organizations to provide COVID-19 vaccines at third-party sites like churches, stadium, and youth centers.
As a federal pharmacy partner, the company can accept federal allocation of doses in all Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies.
At full capacity, when supply and allocations allow, the retailer says it expects to deliver 10-13 million doses per month.