Reaching vulnerable communities
April 2, 2021
By Dr. Cheryl Pegus, Executive Vice President, Health & Wellness
As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout ramps up and vaccine eligibility widens, Walmart is administering vaccines in more than 3,800 stores and clubs across 48 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. Walmart has worked to administer COVID-19 vaccines into the arms of residents in rural and vulnerable areas across the country. More than 80% of shots administered through our pharmacies and 60+ dedicated community events were in what HRSA designates as the most medically underserved areas of the country. For example, in Jackson, Mississippi, we partnered with the Jackson Housing Authority to set up in a community center for a low-income senior housing unit where we administered nearly 2,000 vaccinations to vulnerable seniors.
We remain focused on reaching communities with access issues and vaccine hesitancy, especially those located in medically underserved areas where Walmart has a presence. That continued focus will play a key role in reopening the country, and we hope to do even more and expand vaccine administration to all 5,400 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies when allocation allows. We’ve partnered with dozens of community organizations to host off-site clinics across the country, and we’re planning to expand our efforts with Walmart’s Mobile Wellness Fleet.
Mobile clinics will allow Walmart to expand our reach to deliver additional COVID-19 vaccinations directly to rural and hard to reach communities, where we specifically worked with officials to target our allocation and efforts to increase access. To help ensure we’re serving as many populations as possible, we continue to offer vaccinations in our pharmacies, drive-thru events in our parking lots and in offsite locations with community partners.
Giving Teachers a Shot
Teachers in all U.S. states are now eligible for vaccination, and Walmart is proud to support educators and staff across the country as we help reach the national goal of vaccinating all teachers and childcare workers by the end of March.
In addition to prioritized scheduling for educators at more than 1,400 locations, Walmart has also partnered with large school districts including Dallas ISD; Jackson, Mississippi, USD; Indianapolis ISD and Acero School System in Chicago to hold clinics at both school facilities and within Walmart pharmacies to vaccinate educators, school staffs and licensed childcare providers. We partnered with Dallas Independent School District to administer more than 1,000 doses to their educators and staff.
Supporting our Associates
We’re doing everything we can to help strengthen our community of family, friends and associates during this difficult time. Our associates’ overall well-being – financial, physical and emotional – remains a top priority.
We are strongly encouraging all associates get vaccinated but are not requiring anyone receive the vaccine. To help make that as easy as possible, we’re offering appointments to associates in stores and clubs, providing two hours paid time to get a vaccination and allowing associates to get the vaccine during their shifts if vaccines are being offered at their home location.
Additionally, we are hosting vaccine events to make it easy and convenient for our associates to get vaccinated, if they choose. This includes events in our distribution and fulfillment centers for Supply Chain associates, dedicated appointments in our pharmacies where we are administering the vaccine and a vaccine drive-thru in Northwest Arkansas for local associates near our Home Office, where we administered more than 1,200 vaccines to Walmart associates.
Our associates have been heroes throughout this pandemic, and we are so grateful for them. We will continue to support our associates – and the communities we serve – as we administer vaccines and help reopen the country.
Signage at a drive-thru vaccination event in Fort LauderdaleSignage at a drive-thru vaccination event in Fort Lauderdale
A drive-thru vaccination event in New OrleansA drive-thru vaccination event in New Orleans
A drive-thru vaccination event in Ft. LauderdaleA drive-thru vaccination event in Ft. Lauderdale
Vaccination event for teachers and staff of Dallas ISDVaccination event for teachers and staff of Dallas ISD© WALMART 2021 photographer Mic
A drive-thru vaccination event in New Orleans, LAA drive-thru vaccination event in New Orleans, LA
A Walmart associate briefs customers at a Minnesota WalmartA Walmart associate briefs customers at a Minnesota Walmart
A pharmacy associate prepares a vaccine in New OrleansA pharmacy associate prepares a vaccine in New Orleans
An associate takes a patient's temperature at a vaccination event in Ft. LauderdaleAn associate takes a patient's temperature at a vaccination event in Ft. Lauderdale
A pharmacy associate with a staff member from Dallas ISDA pharmacy associate with a staff member from Dallas ISD
A pharmacy associate prepares a vaccine in Ft. LauderdaleA pharmacy associate prepares a vaccine in Ft. Lauderdale
A pharmacy associate prepares a vaccine in San AntonioA pharmacy associate prepares a vaccine in San Antonio
A pharmacy associate administers a vaccination in MinnesotaA pharmacy associate administers a vaccination in Minnesota
Pharmacy associates at a vaccine event in New OrleansPharmacy associates at a vaccine event in New Orleans