Made possible through the U.S. Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, more than 1,000 Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacies across 22 states—including Texas—are receiving federal vaccine allocations this week, the release states. The pair of retailers are the latest to join the growing list of retail pharmacies offering vaccines in Texas, which includes Kroger and H-E-B pharmacies, among other community vaccine providers.
Once appointments are available, Phase 1A and 1B individuals will be able to sign up to receive the vaccine through the Walmart and Sam's Club websites. A specific date and time for when appointments will become available had not been announced as of press time Feb. 9.
According to the release, while Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacies are already administering vaccines across 11 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, Walmart officials are hoping the multistate expansion will expedite the vaccination process.
"Ninety percent of the country lives within 10 miles of a Walmart. We're committed to helping people live better—and healthy lives—in Texas, and we take that role very seriously," said Dr. Cheryl Pegus, executive vice president of health & wellness for Walmart, in a statement. "We want to be able to help the country reopen, 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."
While vaccine supplies remain limited, the release states an emphasis will be placed on locations that reach customers in medically underserved areas. Factors, including population density, customer demographics, infection rates and availability of local health care resources, were considered in the selection of participating locations, the release states.
For a complete list of Walmart and Sam's Club locations in Texas that will be offering the COVID-19 vaccine, click here.
"The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program is another important step in public health's effort to vaccinate Texas," said Dr. John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, in a statement. "It means more vaccines available to more people in more places, and we appreciate the pharmacies' willingness to help vaccinate our priority populations."
According to the release, customers do not have to be a Sam's Club member to sign up for an appointment at a participating Sam's Club location. Additionally, while appointments will be available seven days a week, appointment availability will depend upon vaccine supply.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccination in Texas, click here.