Walmart, Dillons to administer COVID-19 vaccines in Lawrence
photo by: Mike Yoder
Two local in-store pharmacies have been selected to participate in a federal COVID-19 vaccine distribution program.
Walmart pharmacies, including the one on Congressional Drive in Lawrence, and Dillons Food Stores pharmacies, including the one on 23rd and Naismith, were selected as participating locations for the U.S. Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. Walmart said it will begin administering COVID-19 vaccines on Friday, according to a press release, and Dillons received its first supply of the vaccine on Thursday, according to an email from a spokesperson.
The Lawrence Walmart, 550 Congressional Drive, was one of 20 Walmart locations across Kansas to be selected as a participating location. Vaccines will be available to people who meet the current phase of vaccination eligibility in Kansas, which is Phase 1 and Phase 2. Eligible customers can check appointment availability and schedule an appointment on Walmart’s website via walmart.com/COVIDvaccine.
People are asked to create a profile in order to schedule an appointment so that the scheduler can provide a digital reminder when it is time for that person to return for the second vaccine. Appointments will be available seven days a week, but timing will vary based on local vaccine availability, the release stated.
Rebecca Thomason, a Walmart spokesperson did not immediately respond to a question from the Journal-World asking why, as of Thursday afternoon, the Walmart website stated that Walmart pharmacies in the Lawrence area do not administer COVID-19 vaccinations yet. She did say in a prior message, however, that the scheduler went live Tuesday and was accepting appointments until it was taken down for technical updates. It is gradually being brought back online, she said.
Kate Grusich with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said 1 million doses were being provided to 6,000 pharmacies nationwide to start the program, with the amount per location determined by the number of stores and their reach. She said the agency is planning weekly allocations, with the amount and number of pharmacies expected to increase as the vaccine supply grows.
Dillons, 1015 W. 23rd St., was one of 20 Dillons locations in Kansas to be selected. Like Walmart, vaccines will be distributed to people who meet the current phase of vaccine eligibility. Dillons will be distributing the Moderna vaccine, according to the message. To receive the vaccine through Dillons, eligible customers must schedule appointments on the Dillons website via dillons.com/covidvaccine.
A Dillons spokesperson said in an email to the Journal-World that each Dillons location across Kansas has received 100 doses, and that they expect to receive that same amount each week through the federal partnership.
“We do anticipate the supply will strengthen, resulting with additional doses at all our locations,” spokesperson Sheila Regehr wrote. “We ask for our customers patience, as we know appointments will fill up quickly with such high demand for vaccines with such limited doses.”