Walmart Adds Freezers, Dry Ice to Prep for Vaccine Rollout

Walmart Inc. says it’s preparing its more than 5,000 pharmacies across the U.S. to receive Covid-19 vaccine doses, including adding freezers and dry ice to handle any cold-storage demands.

The preparations underway at Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies also include creating processes to tell customers when to get their first and second doses and entering agreements with states about administering the shots, according to a statement from Tom Van Gilder, Walmart’s chief medical officer.

The company said it’s also “educating our associates about the vaccine, so when they are determined to be eligible, they will understand and be ready to receive the vaccine if they choose.” That suggests Walmart workers won’t be required to get the vaccine when eligible.

A company spokeswoman declined to comment on the plans beyond the statement.

Retailers are gearing up for the logistical challenge of helping to administer vaccines across the U.S. population of about 330 million. This includes lobbying authorities to get access for their employees, who carry more risk than most in contracting Covid-19 because of their public-facing jobs and the need to keep stores open to provide essential goods.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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