WASHINGTON — A number of major drug store chains across the country are now offering same-day and walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations as the Biden administration works to reach a new ambitious goal to vaccinate even more people in the U.S.
President Joe Biden set a major goal this week, aiming for the country to administer at least one COVID-19 jab into at least 70% of adult Americans by July 4. The government now faces a new challenge, getting those unvaccinated people who may have doubts or are hesitant, to voluntarily receive one of the country's approved COVID-19 inoculations, as the Associated Press reported.
CVS announced Wednesday it will now accept "walk-in COVID-19 appointments" at thousands of pharmacy locations across the country. Same-day scheduling will also be offered, and appointments can be made as quickly as an hour in advance. CVS will be offering these fast vaccination appointments at over 8,000 locations in 49 states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.
Customers can still make appointments at CVS.com, and the company said Wednesday that 90% of people have returned for the second dose of their COVID-19 vaccine at CVS locations.
Walgreens on Wednesday starting offering same-day vaccine appointments at stores, according to multiple reports. It was unclear how many Walgreens locations would be offering enhanced vaccine services, or in which states, but as NBC Chicago reported, Rina Shah, the vice president of the company's pharmacy operations said they would be offering mobile clinics in underserved Chicago neighborhoods as well.
Last week, Rite Aid announced that all of its locations now have COVID-19 vaccines available, and that its pharmacies are now accommodating people for walk-in vaccines on a limited basis.
Rite Aid added that offering walk-in and same-day appointments can help those without internet access and who might not be able to make an appointment online.
Walmart said Tuesday that its offering walk-in vaccination appointments as well, at 51,000 pharmacy locations for Walmart and Sam's Club. Pre-scheduled appointments will still operate as normal and run in parallel with walk-in and same-day appointments.
Dr. Cheryl Pegus, executive vice president Health & Wellness for Walmart said in the Tuesday statement from the company, “Now that supply and eligibility have expanded, it’s even more important for us to reach underserved and vulnerable populations to ensure equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.”
Walk-in appointments will continue while supplies of the vaccine last for each Walmart and Sam's Club location, the company said. Appointments can still be made at walmart.com/COVIDvaccine and samsclub.com/covid.
While Sam's Club pharmacies are closed on Sundays, Walmart pharmacies are open seven days a week.