Walmart expands COVID-19 vaccination program to 7 more states, aims to provide 13 million doses per month
- Walmart is expanding its COVID-19 vaccination program to several more states, Chicago, and Puerto Rico.
- The retailer said Friday that at full capacity it will be able to deliver up to 13 million doses each month.
- The move comes as President Joe Biden seeks to accelerate the vaccine rollout.
Walmart is preparing to offer COVID-19 vaccinations in seven more states, as well as in Chicago and Puerto Rico, this week and next, a company spokeswoman told
In preparation for expanded vaccine supply and more people becoming eligible to receive it, Walmart is training thousands of pharmacy employees, developing a new appointment-scheduling platform, and making deals with state and federal agencies, it said Friday.Alabama's health officer, Scott Harris, on Thursday said the state would partner with Walmart to provide COVID-19 vaccinations. Walmart confirmed that deal, which falls under a federal partnership that Biden on Thursday said would launch in early February. Harris said another deal, with a major pharmacy chain, is coming soon.
Walgreens, CVS, Kroger, and Rite Aid have also stepped up to vaccinate Americans in what is the largest and most complex immunization effort in U.S. history. Those shots are needed to help stop the virus, which has killed more than 400,000 and infected more than 24 million people in the United States.
The Trump administration punted vaccine planning to states, which were asked to come up with their own plans, a move that left many pharmacy chains and supermarket-based pharmacies in limbo.Read more: Tell people the truth: The vaccines are great
"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."
He said Walmart is "making sure that we can handle the Pfizer vaccine, the Moderna vaccine and do so appropriately and safely."A spokesperson from the Texas Department of State Health Services said many of Walmart's pharmacies have enrolled as vaccine providers in the state, but that "only a handful" have received the doses so far due to limited supply. "Once there's a broader supply and we can regularly start allocating to more pharmacies, they will be included," the spokesperson said.
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