Walmart preps over 5,000 pharmacies for coronavirus vaccine ahead of US approval

FDA advisory panel recommends authorization of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

Fox News correspondent David Spunt joins ‘Special Report’ with the latest from FDA headquarters in Silver Spring, Md.

More than 5,000 Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacies nationwide will be ready to administer COVID-19 vaccines once the Food and Drug Administration greenlights Pfizer’s candidate for distribution, Walmart's chief medical officer announced Thursday.

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A customer walks past the pharmacy during the grand opening of a new Walmart location in Torrance, Calif., on Sept. 12, 2012. (Patrick Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Walmart does not have any say in who can receive the vaccine but is "ready to support states once they do," Walmart Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tom Van Gilder said.

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In November, the company reached an agreement with federal health officials to distribute free vaccines to the public once they become available. Walmart is among a handful of stores and pharmacies that have joined the distribution partnership, including Costco, Albertsons, Publix, CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid.

All Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies are set to receive the vaccine doses. Walmart says 90% of the American population lives within 10 miles of a Walmart.

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"We will play an important part in making sure those who want a vaccine can get one when they are eligible based on their state’s prioritization, especially those in hard to reach parts of the country that have recently been hit hard by the epidemic," Van Gilder said.

To prepare, the company is making sure it has freezers in all of its locations as well as dry ice to handle any requirements for storing the vaccine

However, the company says it will be ready to support vaccinations where the individual states determine help is needed, whether that is within its pharmacies or long-term care facilities.

Walmart is also educating employees about the vaccine to prepare them for when they become eligible.

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