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story.lead_photo.caption Shoppers walk through the parking lot of a Walmart in the Panorama City section of Los Angeles in this Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2020 file photo. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel) - Photo by AP / Richard Vogel

Walmart Inc. and its Sam’s Club warehouse unit are among the pharmacies authorized to provide covid-19 immunizations when a vaccine becomes available.

The Bentonville-based retailer is on a list of participating pharmacies the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released last week. In all, 19 chain and community pharmacy networks had signed up for the federal program as of Nov. 6, including Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy Inc., The Kroger Co., Cost-co and Albertson’s.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in the news release that the agency is using the private-sector infrastructure to get vaccines into communities as quickly as possible and with no out-of-pocket costs.

“The vast majority of Americans live within 5 miles of a pharmacy,” Azar said, “and our new agreement with pharmacy providers across America is a critical step toward making sure all Americans have access to safe and effective covid-19 vaccines when they are available.”

No covid-19 vaccines have yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

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