BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Later this week, some pharmacies across the country will be getting additional vaccines for people. This is part of President Biden’s push for one million vaccinations a day.
A million extra doses of vaccines are going out to various pharmacies. Nearly 21 big pharmacies are taking part. In Alabama, it will be Walmart pharmacies. The Alabama Department of Public Health said around 14,000 doses will be spread out amongst Walmart’s various pharmacies.
While Walgreens, CVS, and others are also taking part in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, the Alabama Department of Health said it will only be Walmart in Alabama.
Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies will begin administering COVID-19 vaccines in Alabama through the U.S. Federal Retail Pharmacy Program on Friday, Feb 12, 2021.
“Ninety percent of the country lives within ten miles of a Walmart. We’re committed to helping people live better – and healthier lives – in Alabama, and we take that role very seriously,” said Dr. Cheryl Pegus, Executive Vice President, Health & Wellness. “We want to help the country re-open, but we can only achieve that through widespread COVID-19 vaccination. We’re proud to work together with the federal government, states, communities, customers and associates to expand access to the vaccine and reach that goal.”
For a list of stores in each state administering the vaccine under the federal agreement, visit www.corporate.walmart.com/covidvaccine
“I’m pleased that Walmart and Sam’s Club will be administering the COVID-19 vaccine to the people of our state,” Goveror Kay Ivey said. “Partnering with the private sector is a key factor to ensure we effectively and efficiently get shots in arms to as many people as possible. We are extremely grateful for this allocation, but I continue to urge patience as each location will have a limited supply.”
In addition to appointments, the scheduler will provide a digital reminder when it is time to return for the second vaccine, which is why customers are asked to create a profile, helping to ensure customers receive the second dose of the vaccine in the timeframe required. You do not have to be a member of Sam’s Club to sign-up for an appointment.
“We have had a number of pharmacies involved throughout the state. Walgreens, CVS, and senior care pharmacies have taken care of our long term care patients,” said Dr. Karen Landers, ADPH.
These are people in nursing homes. The vaccine allocation to those pharmacies have come out of another federal program. Dr. Landers said it’s important for supplies to increase so that more community based pharmacies can be used.
“Some communities, while they do have big stores like Walmart, they also have pharmacist who they know and trust,” said Landers.
Landers said for the near future, Walmart will be the only pharmacy taking part in the federal program. It was chosen by the federal government because it’s located in areas where some may have limited access to vaccines. Other pharmacies can take part of the state’s allocation. But, again supplies are limited.
“We now have 1.6 million people in Alabama who are eligible for vaccine in Alabama and now they have to be vaccinated twice. 14,000 is a lot and I’m grateful it’s there but it’s not going to get us where we need to be,” said Landers.