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Walmart's flu shot plan includes online scheduler, shots for associates

Walmart has launched its flu shot offering for the coming flu season at all of its 4,700 pharmacies, accompanied by a new scheduling system and a focus on making the vaccine accessible for employees. 

The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer is introducing a digital scheduler to make scheduling a flu shot easy for patients, allowing them to reserve appointments via the Walmart mobile app. Additionally, Walmart is ensuring that its 1.5 million store associates can get a flu shot with no out-of-pocket costs. Walmart also will be hosting in-store events that will offer customers flu shots while following COVID-19 safety precautions. Walk-in appointments also will be available, and patients will go through a COVID-19 screening before receiving their flu shot. 

“We are so proud of our associates for their incredible work serving communities throughout the pandemic, and we are proud to provide access to flu shots with no out-of-pocket costs for them to help everyone stays safe and healthy this flu season,” Van Gilder said. “Walmart associates are being encouraged to do their ‘immunity service’ by getting flu shots, and we hope our neighbors will join us to protect our communities as well.”

Walmart said that the flu shots are administered by pharmacy staff, and pharmacists and associates also undergo health screenings, in addition to the retailer’s mask mandate and single-direction aisles to ensure social distancing. 

“Flu shots are more important than ever in light of COVID-19. With our health care system facing the strain of the pandemic on top of the annual flu season, getting a flu shot can help lessen the burden on the health care industry while also protecting against at least one of the viruses affecting our well-being,” Dr. Tom Van Gilder, Walmart’s Chief Medical Officer, said. “We’re all anxiously awaiting the COVID-19 vaccine, but by getting a flu shot now, we can do our ‘immunity service’ to help keep our communities safe and healthy this fall.”

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