Residents searching for a coronavirus vaccination will soon have 12 Walmart and Sam’s Club stores to choose from, the company says.
When the company gets the vaccine, in conjunction with New Jersey health authorities, the retail giant will join six mega centers and 200 other locations in the state.
The Walmart sites could help, after New Jersey has faced criticism for having a slower rollout than dozens of other states as it continues to deal with a second wave of the pandemic, according to data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The announcement is part of Walmart’s “expanding efforts at the state’s request in administering the COVID-19 vaccine to state-designated priority groups,” Alexa Cangialosi, a Walmart spokeswoman, said in a statement
“So far, we have an estimated 100 stores and Sam’s Clubs across more than half a dozen states administering vaccines to those the state has deemed eligible, including here in New Jersey,” she said.
Stores and clubs in the following locations are preparing to administer vaccinations to priority populations: Pleasantville, Toms River, North Brunswick, Burlington Township, Pennsville, Franklin, Garfield, Hamilton, Vineland, Linden, North Bergen and Boonton.
Currently, shots are available for health care workers, long-term care residents and others in congregant living, and police and firefighters. Also included are anyone 65 or older and those between 16 and 64 with specific medical conditions – including smokers.
Nearly every site in the state has asked people to pre-register through the state’s website. Many have reported getting appointment times several weeks away.
The announcement comes as the state reported 4.613 more coronavirus cases and 17 deaths on Sunday. It was the same day the state Department of Health issued new predictive models that showed Sunday could be the peak of the state’s second wave of the pandemic.
Whether that bump happens could depend on how quickly New Jersey receives and distributes vaccine doses. Gov. Phil Murphy has said he wants to have 70% of the state’s eligible population — nearly 5 million people — vaccinated by May.
Walmart also has a website and a store locator dedicated to the vaccine.
At full capacity, the company expects to be able to deliver 10 to 13 million doses per month nationally when supply and allocations allow, Walmart officials said in a statement.
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Larry Higgs may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.