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CVS, Walmart To Provide COVID Vaccinations

Major U.S. retailers CVS and Walmart are readying to begin distributing COVID-19 vaccines, according to published reports.

CNBC reported that CVS is ready to begin doling out the vaccines to the most vulnerable populations within 24 to 48 hours of receiving them.

CVS CEO Larry Merlo said per CNBC that CVS has 10,000 healthcare professionals ready to administer the vaccines in nursing homes and assisted living centers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the first to receive the vaccines should be healthcare workers, the immunocompromised and the elderly, the latter two of which are the most susceptible to the virus.

“We’re ready to go,” Merlo said Thursday (Dec. 10) in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “We’re in great shape, and as I mentioned, people are excited to be an important part of this solution.”

Merlo said the company has been hiring new people since the beginning of the pandemic to help with COVID-19 testing, and the company already has experience administering flu shots.

Meanwhile, Walmart said in a news release that it is also preparing to administer vaccines.

The retail giant said it has been readying all of its over 5,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies to make sure they all have freezers in the pharmacies, along with dry ice to handle any potential requirements for storing the vaccine. The company is also entering into agreements with various states to help support vaccines in either Walmart pharmacies or various long-term care facilities.

In addition, the company said it is getting ready to inform people about when to receive the first and second doses of the vaccine.

Retail is set to play a large role in the distribution of the vaccines, PYMNTS reported with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services having signed on dozens of pharmacies and grocery chains to help provide vaccines, including names like Kroger, Albertsons, Walgreens and Rite Aid in addition to the aforementioned CVS and Walmart.

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