Walmart Administers Its First Covid Vaccine In New Mexico
Walmart said it started administering its first COVID-19 vaccines to health care workers in the state of New Mexico.
The retail giant said the recently approved Moderna vaccine was given to pharmacists at select Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs.
The company is in discussions with other states to support their vaccine administration efforts.
Walmart is preparing its 5,000+ 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 per recommendation by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Walmart earlier had said that it would not have any say in who can receive the vaccine, but is ready to support states once they do.
The federal government allocates the vaccine to states, and states determine who should receive the first doses of the vaccine and when.
In the state of New Mexico, the first doses were given to Walmart’s own pharmacists as they will be on the front lines of administering these vaccines. Pharmacy clinical service manager Alexis Abbatantuono, a 13-year associate, was the first Walmart pharmacist to receive a vaccine in its facilities.
The store locations were carefully selected by the New Mexico Department of Health to help ensure that the vaccine is safely administered in rural areas that need help supporting vaccine distribution to health care workers.
Tom Van Gilder, Chief Medical Officer, Walmart, said, “We know the vital role our stores, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will play in the immunization of communities across the country, so keeping them healthy and safe is a critical first link in the chain of wide vaccine distribution.”
The company further said it will also be prepared for all Americans to receive the vaccine in the spring and summer when the broad rollout happens.
On December 10, before the approval of the first covid-19 vaccine BNT162b2 developed by Pfizer Inc. and German biotech firm BioNTech SE, the retail giant had said that it was prepared to administer the COVID-19 vaccine at its pharmacies across the nation.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on December 11 authorized Pfizer – BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use. Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine mRNA-1273 was approved for emergency use on December 18.
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