The Centers for Disease Control selected Walmart to start offering coronavirus vaccinations on Friday at about 30 percent of the company’s stores in Florida, as the state continues to focus on giving shots to people ages 65 and older. The initiative is part of the U.S. Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, a key component of the Biden administration’s plan to expand vaccine access nationwide.
The vaccine will not be available at Walmart stores in Flagler, Volusia or St. Johns counties, at least not yet. It will be available at 18 locations in Jacksonville and 15 in Orlando, and at the Walmart in Palatka on South State Road 19. Walmart explains its vaccine eligibility and access online here. Florida residents may get vaccinated at any Florida location of their choice, regardless of their home address. The Flagler County Health Department meanwhile continues to administer about 800 first shots per week.
“We are rolling out the vaccine to select stores as they are approved by state and federal governments,” Walmart states, “and your local stores may not yet have been selected to administer the vaccine,” the company says on its Covid-vaccination page. “The locations are determined by the state and federal government to administer to specific populations as determined by the state. The availability of vaccines will continue to change, so we appreciate your patience and please continue to check back.”
The CDC says that the vaccine doses will be delivered from the federal government to Walmart–among other partner pharmacies–as supplies become available, the presumption being that supplies will be growing steadily. “As the program expands,” the CDC states, “and supply becomes more readily available, the allocation may be adjusted to reflect partner size (number of store locations nationwide), reach (percent of the total U.S. population living within 5 miles of a store location), and ability to vaccinate (throughput).
Last week the Biden administration said it was increasing the weekly vaccine supply to states to 10.5 million doses, a 22 percent increase since taking office on Jan. 20, with further increases projected.
During an appearance Tuesday at a Walmart in Jacksonville, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that Walmart and the affiliated Sam’s Club initially will offer Moderna Covid-19 vaccines to seniors and front-line health care workers at 119 locations in 34 counties, providing about 25,000 doses. “They’re spreading it pretty far and wide,” DeSantis said. “And then as those doses increase from the federal government, they’ll be able to do more shots at each store without much of a problem.”
Walmart and Sam’s Club will join Publix and Winn-Dixie in providing vaccinations in Florida.
The Walmart announcement came on the same day that the state reported exceeding 28,000 resident deaths from Covid-19. In all, Florida has had 1.79 million cases and 28,048 resident deaths since the pandemic started, including 77 in Flagler County, where confirmed cases are approaching the 5,500 mark. Another 478 non-residents have died in the state, according to the Florida Department.
As of Monday, 1.3 million people had received first doses of vaccines and more than 756,000 had completed two-shot vaccination series.
In Flagler as of Wednesday, 10,416 people had received their first shot of the vaccine, of 9 percent of the local population, and 3,583, or 3 percent, had received both shots. In the past two weeks, 4,958 first doses have been administered–an average of 354 shots per day–in all venues administering shots in Flagler County, including through the health department, through Publix, through the hospital and through the company responsible for immunizing residents and employees at assisted living facilities.
In Flagler, people 65 and over have accounted for 91 percent of the first shots administered so far, but the total number of people 65 and over who have received that first shot, at 9,524, still represents less than a third of the county’s population of 65 and over, so there’s a way to go before younger people will be cleared to get a shot.
Asked at the Jacksonville appearance about a timetable to expand vaccinations to the broader population, DeSantis said that will be “once we get through enough of the senior population, where we start to see that demand dwindle a little bit.”
Other pharmacies in the federal program’s network of 40,000 such locations include Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Costco, Publix and Winn-Dixie, among others.
Why are all the others getting the vaccine and not Flagler County? Why are we being discriminated against having our pharmacies and walmart getting the vaccine to protect our residents? Our pharmacies give out the flu shot every year, why not the covid vaccine.
I really feel the effort by the state in Flagler County has been Pathetic towards the vaccination of people over 65. Of record, 31.2% of this counties population is over 65. It ranks 9th in the state that has its population over 65. Only 9% have the first shot, thats pretty sad.
DeSanti like him some butter says
I agree… let’s look at the numbers:
Date of first FL Shot: Dec 15, in Tampa.
Today is: Feb 11.. we’ll round that the 15th
No. of months it took to vaccinate 9% of Flagler based on first round shot data: 2 months
No. of extrapolated 9% “first rounds” to vaccinate the remaining 22.2% at the current rate with no changes: 2.467 (rounded up) x 2 months each = 4.934 months later.. let’s, on good faith, rounded to 5. That’s:
March, April, May, June, July
July.. July it’ll take in this county to Vax everyone who’s only 65 and up at the rate we are going. We, those not 65 and up, might as well give up hope.
Thanks Desanti! Enjoy ya butter! We see it in your fingers! ;-)
The Health Department has been infamously lax. This needs to be addressed urgently (if our city government has any sense of what the term “urgency” actually means.)
Gina Weiss says
Article reads that the Flagler County Health department is administering 800 shots a week to whom is the next question???? In the beginning of receiving the vaccines they claimed that their lines were overwhelmed and flooded and the site was not working properly, seems logical. Then they report that they are going to put people on a call waiting list so we all line up. This week many people were booted off this list upon a rep from MYVACFL.GOV calling them while scheduling their appointments, my spouse and I were 2 of the people that this had happened to. Upon calling the county health dept. to report this they had acknowledged that they were receiving floods of calls from people like myself regarding the situation, at first they said that it may be a scam which was a bunch of hog wash cause it was not a scam. The same rep that called my spouse and I instructed me that we would be receiving another call by the end of this week because the county is receiving more vaccines and that we are the next in line . We did not receive this call to reschedule us therefore our vaccines as well as others were stolen from us so the call waiting list is not being acknowledged by the county. At this point who are they giving these vaccines to if the people whose turn it is in line is bumped off? In fact one lady post that she and her spouse were officially registered at the county fairground site and was told when they got there that they were not on THE LIST! People are not stupid and we know this situation is far from being copacetic.
Land of no turn signals says says
Are the Walmart greeters administering the shot?
I tellya, I’ve signed up for this “FLAGLERCOVID text alert service.” and the States of Fla’s, and have never received a alert about vaccine, or a contact for vaccination, its always about testing. And the Publix Lottery is just that a shot in the dark. Darn shame you have to attempt to get a vaccine from another county other than our own that we live in.
Marian and Don Davis says
Does anyone else feel as frustrated as we do about the rate of COVID vaccinations here in Flagler Beach and the call-back process? We have been wait-listed with the county for several weeks and have received 2 call-backs, during which we had to answer the 20-questions routine to make sure we were qualified, after which the booking agent told us that there were no more appointments available! Would it not be appropriate to check for the appointments first, book us, and then ask the qualifying questions? After all, we have already met the basic requirements to get on the wait list to begin with!
Marian Davis says
We have been on the wait list for weeks, patiently expecting the powers that be to carry out the vaccinations in a timely manner and according to our place on the list. We went through a qualifying process to even get on the list, but we have been called back twice now to schedule and while we had to jump through more hoops to qualify us for the agent to even search for an appointment, lo and behold, someone else has already booked that available date and we are told, woops, no more appointments! Can they not streamline the process to eliminate this kind of dashed-hope scenario? It is reprehensible that only 9% of the 65 and over group of residents has been vaccinated. Shame on the former president of the United States on down for failing to come up with a national system of vaccine administration that was clear, concise, and efficient!