Walmart prepares to administer Covid vaccines at stores across the U.S.

A employee collects procuring carts at a Walmart retailer on May 19, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. Walmart reported a 74% enhance in U.S. on-line gross sales for the quarter that ended April 30, and a 10% enhance in identical retailer gross sales for the identical interval as the results of the coronavirus helped to enhance gross sales.

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Walmart is preparing to administer Covid-19 vaccinations across the nation as soon as a vaccine is accepted, the firm’s chief medical officer mentioned Thursday.

In a put up on the firm’s web site, Dr. Tom Van Gilder mentioned the firm is making ready employees at its greater than 5,000 stores and Sam’s Club pharmacies to obtain the vaccine doses — similar to having freezers and dry ice at its pharmacies to ensure the vaccine may be saved at the proper temperature.

Gilder mentioned the big-box retailer is getting into into agreements with states to have the opportunity to supply vaccinations at pharmacies or different places, similar to long-term care amenities. He didn’t specify the states or any agreements that the firm has signed.

Walmart is one in every of a number of corporations gearing up for the approval and availability of thousands and thousands of coronavirus vaccine doses. There are a number of vaccine candidates, together with one developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. A Food and Drug Administration panel is assembly as we speak to vote on whether or not to suggest the approval of that vaccine for emergency use.

The authorities struck offers with CVS Health and Walgreens to administer the vaccine to employees and residents at long-term care amenities, similar to nursing properties. On Thursday, CVS CEO Larry Merlo mentioned on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that the firm is prepared to begin vaccinations inside 24 to 48 hours of receiving its share of vaccines.

“Pending approval, I’m confident that we’ll be in thousands of facilities before the Christmas holiday,” he mentioned.

Gilder mentioned Walmart already has health-care employees who administer thousands and thousands of doses of different vaccines. He mentioned it is uniquely positioned to assist with the vaccine’s rollout.

“With 90% of the American population living within 10 miles of a Walmart, we will play an important part in making sure those who want a vaccine can get one when they are eligible based on their state’s prioritization, especially those in hard to reach parts of the country that have recently been hit hard by the epidemic,” he mentioned.

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