"We’re supporting states at select stores and clubs as states roll out the vaccine to specific population groups as determined by the state this week and next, including Chicago, New Jersey, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, South Carolina and Texas, as well as Puerto Rico," Walmart's Rebecca Thompson told 11Alive on Friday. "We have been administering vaccines in select stores and clubs at the request of the states in New Mexico and Arkansas."
According to a Reuters report, the move comes as President Joe Biden works to accelerate a slow national vaccination campaign that has "stranded about half of the 38 million shots distributed in freezers rather than in arms."
U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) said on Thursday that the previous leadership did not leave a vaccine distribution plan
The Sam's Club locations are in Athens and Columbus. The Walmart locations are in Rincon, Eastman, Dahlonega, Jesup, Villa Rica, Waynesboro, Rome, Eatonton, Albany, and Adel.
Residents who are 65 and older, and caregivers where applicable, have been eligible to receive the vaccine since Jan. 11 as part of Georgia’s Phase 1A+ rollout. Vaccination for law enforcement, firefighters, first responders, dispatchers, and 9-1-1 operators also began on that date per state guidelines.
State health officials said the vaccination process may vary by county. The Georgia Department of Public Health’s website also reiterates that vaccine supply is limited and public health departments are scheduling vaccines by appointment online, as are most other providers.
In addition to individual county sites, the Department of Public Health said participating locations from retailers including Kroger, Ingles, Publix, and U-Save-It pharmacies are offering COVID vaccines as supplies are available.