BENTONVILLE (dpa-AFX) - Walmart Inc. has launched a nationwide drive to boost COVID-19 vaccination rates by reaching out to more residents in vulnerable communities. The retail giant will organize a series of community events at 43 locations in 18 states to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.
Walmart said it plans to continue these new events over the next several weeks as vaccine allocations allow. These event locations include drive-thru locations in Walmart parking lots, in-store and across several offsite locations in partnership with community organizations.
These community organizations include Casa del Inmigrante/Immigrant Home Foundation, a nonprofit serving immigrants in Las Vegas, Nevada; the Indianapolis Urban League in Indiana; and Jackson Housing Authority and Wishrock at the Golden Key Envision Center in Jackson, Mississippi.
The new events are part of Walmart's expanded role within the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program and supplements Walmart's ongoing vaccination program at more than 1,400 pharmacies nationwide in 35 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., through federal and state efforts.
While administering the vaccines, Walmart will primarily focus on reaching as many people as possible to enable reopening efforts, and to ensure equitable vaccine distribution across the communities it serves. It will focus on medically underserved neighborhoods.
Walmart said vaccine supply and eligibility will vary based on allocation as well as state and local guidelines. Eligible customers can schedule a vaccine appointment at Walmart through its digital scheduler at walmart.com/COVIDvaccine.
Earlier in the month, Walmart began administering COVID-19 vaccines through pharmacies at select Walmart stores and Sam's Clubs under the U.S. Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. Walmart is a federal retail pharmacy partner in 22 states.
The retailer is in a position to safely and easily reach customers as about 150 million customers are already shopping for household and health care essentials at their stores.
The company has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and states taking into account the population density, customer demographics, infection rates and availability of local health care resources among other factors to identify many of the participating locations.
The company is already at the heart of many rural and underserved communities as ninety percent of the country lives within 10 miles of a Walmart. It is partnering with CDC and states to move as quickly as possible to help administer vaccines to eligible populations in participating states.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
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