Walmart has administered its first COVID-19 vaccines, to health care workers in New Mexico.
The retail giant said it started giving the recently approved Moderna vaccine to healthcare workers at select Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs in the state of New Mexico.
“The New Mexico Department of Health carefully chose store locations to help ensure that the vaccine is safely administered in rural areas that need help supporting vaccine distribution to healthcare workers,” said Dr. Tom Van Gilder, chief medical officer, Walmart, in a blog post on the chain’s site.
Because Walmart pharmacists will be on the front lines of administering these vaccines, the company is offering its first doses to them. The retailer noted it is also preparing its 5,00-plus pharmacies at Sam’s Clubs and Walmart stores to be ready when the time comes to administer to essential workers, first responders and older Americans in “Priority 1B” and “Priority 1C,” as based on the recent recommendation by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
“We will also be prepared for all Americans to receive the vaccine in the spring and summer when the broad rollout happens. In the meantime, we will continue to protect ourselves and each other by wearing a face covering, maintaining social distance and practicing recommended hygiene practices,” stated Dr. Tom Van Gilder.