Walmart and Sam's Club will join the push to vaccinate the population Friday in Columbia, along with many more locations in Missouri and the U.S.
As part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, 102 Missouri pharmacies at Walmart, Sam's Clubs and Health Marts will receive vaccine doses as part of the effort to increase access. The stores' pharmacies are scheduled to receive 18,000 doses per week, according to a news release from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. These are separate from the state's allotment.
Though the program and retailer are national, eligibility will follow state guidelines. The state is vaccinating people in Phase 1A and Phase 1B, Tiers 1 and 2.
Walmart and Sam's Clubs in 22 states will receive federal vaccine allocations as well this week, according to a news release from Walmart.
The response to the announcement was so swift that some people who tried to schedule appointments Tuesday night received an error message.
“The Walmart scheduling system is currently experiencing technical difficulties following a surge of appointments," according to a news release from the company. "Our team is currently working to resolve the matter to have the scheduler back online as soon as possible.”
Wednesday morning, the scheduler on the Sam's Club site seemed to indicate all available appointments were already taken.
Walmart pharmacies on West Broadway, Conley Road and Grindstone Parkway will provide vaccines. Sam's Club on Conley Road will also have vaccines available.