Walmart preparing to administer COVID-19 vaccines once approved

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A Walmart store sign is visible from Route 28, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, in Derry, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

BENOTNVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Walmart is preparing its pharmacies to receive and administer the COVID-19 vaccine once it’s approved in the United States, according to a company blog post on Thursday.

The retailer says its 5000+ Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies are making sure they have freezers in place, as well as dry ice, to handle any requirements for storing the vaccine.

“With 90% of the American population living within 10 miles of a Walmart, we will play an important part in making sure those who want a vaccine can get one when they are eligible based on their state’s prioritization, especially those in hard to reach parts of the country that have recently been hit hard by the epidemic,” Dr. Tom Van Gilder, Walmart’s chief medical officer, said in the post.

Walmart says it is also preparing to enter into an agreement with states to support vaccinations where needed, “whether that is in our pharmacies or long-term care facilities where the states determine they need our help.”

The company is also putting in place processes to inform people when to receive the first and second dose and to report successful vaccinations, as well as educating its employees about the vaccine, “so when they are determined to be eligible, they will understand and be ready to receive the vaccine if they choose.”

The first vaccines are likely to require two doses, which will need to be separated by 21 or 28 days, and will be available in limited quantities.

A committee of outside experts is scheduled to vote on Thursday on whether the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should authorize the use of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, which is reportedly 95 percent effective at preventing COVID-19.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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