Walmart is one of several U.S. companies preparing to receive coronavirus vaccines.
UNITED STATES (EFE) – Walmart announced Thursday that it is preparing more than 5,000 of its stores to supply coronavirus vaccines throughout the United States.
In a publication on the company’s website, which has a pharmacy service, the head of its medical department, Tom Van Gilder, said they had been equipped with freezers and dry ice to store the vaccines in the proper conditions.
“We are ready to get back to normal and enjoy life beyond the pandemic, and these vaccines are going to help us do that,” Gilder said. With the continued rise of coronavirus cases in the United States, the vaccine could slow its spread and help the economy recover. According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 15 million Americans have contracted the virus, and more than 286,000 have died.
Both CVS and Walgreens pharmacy chains have reached agreements with the U.S. government to administer the vaccine to both staff and residents of nursing homes, who could be the first to be immunized.
This Thursday, CVS CEO Larry Merlo told CNBC that the chain could begin administering vaccines to people 24 to 48 hours after authorities approve the use of one. “Pending approval, I am confident that we will have them in thousands of establishments before the Christmas vacations,” Merlo said.
In the meantime, Walmart says it has health care workers already administering millions of doses of other vaccines and noted that given its network, it could vaccinate many Americans.
“With 90 percent of the U.S. population living within 10 miles of a Walmart, we’re going to play an important role in ensuring that those who want to be vaccinated are so when they qualify based on each state’s priorities,” Gilder added.
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