Coronavirus: Walmart to begin distributing vaccines

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At full capacity, the superstore plans to deliver 10-13 million doses each month at its over 5,000 pharmacies across the US.

An employee pushes shopping carts outside a Walmart store in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., November 20, 2018 (photo credit: KAMIL KRACZYNSKI/ REUTERS)

An employee pushes shopping carts outside a Walmart store in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., November 20, 2018

(photo credit: KAMIL KRACZYNSKI/ REUTERS)

American superstore leader Walmart announced Friday that it will be expanding COVID-19 vaccine distribution in the US, according to a blog post by Dr. Cheryl Pegus, Walmart’s executive vice president of health and wellness.

In the post, Pegus explained that the company planned to offer vaccines every day at Walmart pharmacies. To facilitate this, they have trained thousands of new pharmacists and have built an easy-to-use digital scheduling tool.

At full capacity, the superstore plans to deliver 10-13 million doses each month at its over 5,000 pharmacies across the US.

This ambitious plan is facilitated by the company partnering with state and federal authorities, while they await allocations. This is especially notable, as many Walmart branches are in federally designated “medically underserved” areas, which means a limited option of pharmacies.

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“We’re doing everything we can to help ensure the health and well-being of our associates and customers during the pandemic,” Pagus wrote.

But Walmart isn’t the only US chain to be aiding out in vaccine distribution. On Thursday, Texas grocery chain H-E-B announced it had obtained a limited supply of the Moderna vaccine for the cities of Portland, Wharton and Aransas Pass, though they are strictly appointment only, according to Supermarket News.

To the Northeast, Wegmans Food has expanded its vaccine effort out of New York and into additional states, such as Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, Supermarket News reported.

The use of commercial pharmacies to distribute the vaccine in the US is unsurprising to some, with several state governments such as New York coming under fire for the lack of access to vaccines.

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