The Walmart in Selma will begin administering COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, Walmart and the Alabama Department of Public Health announced today.
The Selma Walmart pharmacy will be among more than 1,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies in 22 states to administer COVID-19 vaccine through the U.S. Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.
For a list of participating Walmarts, go here.
State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said at his weekly press briefing last Friday that the vaccine going to Walmart is separate from the doses the CDC releases to the state every week. Alabama has been receiving 50,000 to 60,000 doses each week, and the state got an extra amount that it has used to serve drive-through clinics throughout Alabama, including at Bloch Park in Selma this week.
According to a news release from Walmart linked to the ADPH website, the participating Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies are receiving federal vaccine allocations this week, with an emphasis on locations that reach customers in underserved communities with limited access to health care. In addition to the 22 states, Walmart and Sam’s Club is also currently administering vaccinations under the state allocation in 11 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
“With 150 million customers and members passing through our doors each week, Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacists can safely and easily reach customers where they’re already shopping for household and health care essentials,” the release said. “The company worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and states taking into account the population density, customer demographics, infection rates and availability of local health care resources among other factors to identify many of the participating locations.”
Walmart said in their release that they also looked at pharmacies located in Medically Underserved Areas, as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration. For example, the Walmart store in Brewton, Alabama, was chosen because it is in a designated medically underserved area and is the only location to administer the vaccine for 102 miles.
“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,” Dr. Cheryl Pegus, Executive Vice President, Health & Wellness, said. “Vaccinations to achieve widespread immunity are important for re-opening across the country. We’re proud to work together with the federal government, states, communities, customers and associates to reach that goal.”
Walmart will be the sole preferred pharmacy partner under the federal program in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, Nevada, Tennessee and Wyoming. For a list of stores in each state administering the vaccine under the federal agreement, visit corporate.walmart.com/COVID-vaccine.
Vaccine supply and eligibility will vary based on allocation as well as state and local guidelines. The number of vaccinations will be limited and is planned to continue to increase each week. Eligible customers can schedule a vaccine appointment directly via the Walmart and Sam’s Club websites once appointments are available, making it convenient to get vaccinated while allocation lasts. In addition to appointments, the scheduler will provide a digital reminder when it is time to return for the second vaccine, which is why customers are asked to create a profile, helping to ensure customers receive the second dose of the vaccine.
Walmart recognizes there are people who may have difficulty accessing in-store clinics, so it will be partnering with other providers and organizations to expand access to offsite vaccination clinics. The company will share details of these new vaccine options as they become available.