6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
A couple of weeks ago, Dr. Tom Van Gilder, Walmart’s chief medical officer, announced that the chain was preparing to supply the COVID-19 vaccine in its more than 5,000 pharmacies in the United States. Now, in social networks the rumor has been unleashed that the Pfizer immunizer can be bought at Walmart and Sam’s Club for only $ 20 , that is, about 400 Mexican pesos. But what is the truth in this?
According to an official statement from Walmart , the company was in the process of acquiring the necessary equipment to store the vaccines, such as special freezers and dry ice. These must be kept at a temperature between -80 and -60 ° C to remain effective for up to 6 months. In a typical hospital refrigeration unit, the drug will remain viable for five days, Pfizer noted.
Many people misunderstood the ad and spread that the Pfizer vaccine will be sold in such supermarkets. The rumor was accompanied by a doctored image, where it appears that the drug would be available in the form of a vaporizer cartridge. Each dose would supposedly be the same price that Pfizer and BioNTech agreed with the US government: $ 20.
– Why is it Trend? (@porkestendencia) December 27, 2020
Mexican Internet users replicated the false information, expressing their outrage that the government of the country will not commercialize the vaccine. A few days ago, when the first shipment of Pfizer’s drug against the coronavirus arrived in Mexico , Hugo López-Gatell made it clear that the federal government will not allow it to be sold by individuals and warned to the population about possible fraud.
Many accused the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador of wanting to monopolize the vaccine by preventing people from getting a dose on their own.
The vaccine for #COVID ー 19 will begin to be sold at Walmart
But in the USA
In Mexico he will not leave because only those who have money could buy it and where he and his votes would remain, he prefers that thousands of Mexicans die
– It hurts Mexico (@me_duele_mexico) December 27, 2020
Several more stated their plans to travel to the United States as soon as possible to obtain it.
And at Walmart in the seafood department pic.twitter.com/VAXhWBb12w
– Firefly No one said it would be easy. (@ luz611230) December 27, 2020
Will the vaccine be available at Walmart and Sam’s Club or not?
Indeed, in the Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies the vaccine against COVID-19 will be applied, but it will not be for sale, at least not for now.
The idea is to expand the vaccination network and reach remote areas, since according to the company, “90% of the US population lives within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of a Walmart.” The plan could speed up the inoculation process in the US, where as of December 23, about a million doses had been applied, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Can anyone get vaccinated at Walmart in the United States?
No. The vaccination schedule established by the CDC is very similar to the one that several countries will follow, such as Mexico. Priority will be given to health personnel and the elderly, to then immunize the rest of the population in stages.
“We are preparing our more than 5,000 pharmacies in Sam’s Clubs and Walmart stores to be ready when the time comes to manage essential workers, first responders and elderly Americans in ‘Priority 1B’ and ‘Priority 1C’, according to the recent recommendation. of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the CDC, “ said the chain.
A few months ago, when announcing Operation Warp Speed, the United States government pledged to obtain 300 million doses against COVID-19 by 2021. However, on December 24 CNN reported that, according to the CDC, there were only 9.5 million existing doses. A day earlier, the CDC itself confirmed that only one million people have been vaccinated in that country. Even so, it is projected that 20 million doses will be applied to the population by the second week of January.
In early December, the still president of the United States, Donald Trump, signed a decree giving priority to citizens of the neighboring country to receive the vaccine against COVID-19. So a foreign visitor is unlikely to access the inoculation at this time.
In conclusion, for now the supermarket chain is not selling the vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is not known if there are plans to do so in the future, once the drug is applied to the most vulnerable population. In the meantime, you don’t need to have your visa on hand or start packing your bags to get vaccinated at a Walmart in the United States.