MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - About a dozen Walmart pharmacies in Shelby County are now administering the COVID-19 vaccine. That means thousands of more doses are in Shelby County apart from what the state has already allocated.
The Shelby County Health Department is already set to get about 3,000 extra vaccine doses every week this month than it did in January. It’s always said it’s critical to get private partners vaccinating the public if we’re going to reach that goal of 650,000 people vaccinated as quickly as we can.
Here’s a list of Walmart locations participating:
Walmart has chosen Tennessee as one of the few states that will offer the vaccine. Nearby states include Arkansas, Georgia, Texas, and Louisiana.
“COVID has wreaked havoc in Memphis and the Whitehaven area so this is a step to combat that,” said Whitehaven’s Walmart Pharmacy Manager Dr. Alexis Dancy.
The Whitehaven Walmart on Elvis Presley Boulevard is one of about a dozen Walmart pharmacies in Shelby County getting into the vaccine administration game. The location received about 200 doses of the Moderna vaccine and started administering it Wednesday.
“Each day we’re offering 20 appointments,” said Dancy.
You still have to fit eligible vaccine criteria to get one of the shots at Walmart. The Shelby County Health Department said getting more providers in the county will allow for quicker vaccine distribution.
Soon, Walmart and Sam’s Club plan to launch an online scheduler so those eligible can sign up directly from the Walmart website.
“The pharmacies that are coming online do not receive a proportion of our allocation locally,” said Shelby County Health Department’s Director Dr. Alisa Haushalter. “They received a direct supply from the federal government so that actually adds to our allocation locally.”
SCHD is now set to receive 11,900 doses a week. It’s being split between the health department, hospital networks and safety net providers which help the uninsured and vulnerable patients.
“The current safety net providers that are currently approved are Church Health, Christ Community, Cherokee and Tristate,” said Haushalter.
The state would also like to see more hospital networks jump in and start vaccinating the public. Haushalter said the Tennessee Department of Health has written two letters to hospital networks requesting this.