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Walmart launches vaccine drive to reach residents in vulnerable communities

by The Associated Press | February 25, 2021 at 12:35 p.m.
Shoppers come and go at the Walmart Supercenter in Bentonville in this 2019 file photo. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Charlie Kaijo)

To drive higher vaccination rates in vulnerable communities by improving access to the covid-19 vaccine, Walmart is creating a series of community events to administer the covid-19 vaccine across the country.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is providing Walmart with allocation of the vaccine for this new effort, which Walmart is launching in partnership with local community leaders and nonprofit organizations.

These new events mark an expansion of Walmart's role with the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program and are supplementing 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.

Walmart selected many of the new locations after an analysis of area demographics, local health needs and gaps in critical access to medical services, to pinpoint communities where Walmart can make the greatest impact for populations most in need.

The community vaccine events will take place at 43 locations across 18 states, including drive-thru locations in Walmart parking lots, in-store and across several offsite locations in partnership with community organizations such as 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.

"We have two goals as we administer vaccines: first, to reach as many people as possible to enable reopening efforts, and second, to ensure equitable vaccine distribution across the communities we serve. We have focused most of our events in medically underserved neighborhoods, and we are proud to play a part in increasing access to the vaccine in these communities," Dr. Cheryl Pegus, executive vice president, Health & Wellness, said.

"We will continue to engage within our communities to find new ways to reach additional customers with our vaccination programs as we work towards the eventual end of the pandemic."

Walmart plans to continue these new events over the next several weeks as vaccine allocations allow and is currently planning them in the following states:

Alabama

Colorado

Florida

Georgia

Idaho

Indiana

Louisiana

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Nevada

Oklahoma

Pennsylvania

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Virginia

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