Jan. 22, 2021
By Dr. Cheryl Pegus, Executive Vice President, Health & Wellness
Over the past year, our associates have risen to the challenge of serving our customers in new ways. Today, at the dawn of the most significant vaccine rollout of our lifetimes, Walmart again stands ready to serve.
As we look to a future when supply can meet demand and more people are eligible to receive the vaccine, we plan to offer the vaccine seven days a week at our pharmacies, through planned in-store vaccination clinics and through large community events. We have been preparing by:
- Training thousands of pharmacists and pharmacy techs
- Building a new digital scheduling tool to make appointments easy
- Partnering with state and federal agencies as we await allocations
At full capacity, we expect we will be able to deliver 10-13 million doses per month when supply and allocations allow.
How will we do this? Walmart and Sam’s Club operate more than 5,000 pharmacies in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, many of which serve underserved communities and the heart of rural America. With 150 million people passing through our doors each week, we’re in a unique position to reach people where they already shop. We’re also a federal pharmacy partner and can accept federal allocation of doses in all our Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies. Specifically, there are key areas where we stand ready to help ensure Americans have access to the vaccine.
- The first is what many term “health care deserts.” These are mostly rural locations where there are very few options for customers to find health care. We have nearly 4,000 Walmart locations that are positioned within one or more of the federally designated medically underserved areas or where there are limited pharmacy options.
- The second is through COVID-19 vaccination events in underserved communities. Walmart has the reach and the qualified, trained pharmacists and pharmacy staff to partner with community organizations to provide vaccination services at third party locations like churches, stadiums and youth centers.
We’re doing everything we can to help ensure the health and well-being of our associates and customers during the pandemic. That includes keeping everyone updated and informed. We’re educating essential workers and all associates on getting the vaccine as soon as they are eligible. We are strongly encouraging all associates to get vaccinated but are not mandating anyone receive the vaccine nor are we providing incentives at this time.
As we always have, Walmart stands ready to serve our country, our customers and our associates. We appreciate the conversations we have had with both administrations and the ongoing conversations we are having with the new Biden administration. We look forward to the day we can activate our strengths to serve our communities and administer the vaccine.