Walmart ready to begin administering COVID-19 vaccine after year of preparation

Walmart locations prepare to administer vaccine

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - People will soon have more places to go to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Kroger is one of the pharmacies that has been selected to participate in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership.

Exactly when that will happen in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas is not clear. But Walmart is ready to go.

“We have a national crisis on our hands. We have a statewide emergency in our hands. I do think that is going to require additional partners to be brought forward,” said Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris.

Walmart will start giving the COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday in the Memphis area.

“We want to protect as many patients as possible,” said Walmart Pharmacist Kevin Chung. “If you want to go back and have a sense of normal pre-Covid, this is going to be the way to do it.”

Walmart says it has been preparing to administer the vaccine for a year. The vaccine will be distributed by appointment only. Wednesday’s appointments are already set, going to state-designated priority groups.

The Walmart vaccinations will happen in the store’s pharmacy area.

Walmart is partnering with federal and state governments to help deliver the vaccines to eligible populations. Tennessee Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey, says it’s all part of the state’s vaccine boost in vaccine supply.

“Beginning this week and has been promised for the next two weeks, so a total of three weeks we’re expecting to see a 15 percent increase,” she said. “So for us that’s an additional 13-thousand doses a week.”

Walmart pharmacists have received training on how to handle the vaccine as well as precautions like social distancing among patients.

It is all part of the Biden administration’s plan to make the vaccine available to as many people as possible as soon as possible.

You can sign up for an appointment through Walmart or your state health department. Distribution is based on availability.

Kroger is administering the vaccine in some states. A spokesperson said more Kroger pharmacies will join in as more vaccine becomes available.

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