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Thursday, May 6, 2021

Here’s how to get walk-in COVID shots at Walmart and Sam’s Club in the Carolinas

Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies across the Carolinas are now accepting walk-ins for COVID-19 vaccines, the stores announced Tuesday.

COVID-19 vaccines are now available at all of the more than 5,100 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacy locations nationwide, including 214 in North Carolina and 120 in South Carolina.

“Wide spread vaccination is the only way we will eventually end the pandemic and help our country reopen,” Walmart’s executive vice president of Health & Wellness Dr. Cheryl Pegus said in a statement.

Walmart Pharmacies are open seven days a week, and Sam’s Club Pharmacies are open Monday through Saturday. The pharmacies are administering the Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Only the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for use in 16 and 17-year-olds. The Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines are authorized for use in anyone age 18 and older.

Appointments are still accepted at Sam’s Club and Walmart locations, and can be made online at walmart.com/COVIDvaccine and samsclub.com/covid.

Walmart and Sam’s Club is offering incentives to employees to “strongly encourage” getting the COVID-19 vaccine, including offering appointments, allowing employees to get the vaccine during their shifts and providing two hours of paid time to get the vaccine.

Walmart and Sam’s Club are now accepting walk-ins for coronavirus vaccines across the US, including in more than 200 North Carolina stores.

Mecklenburg vaccinations

Vaccine providers across North Carolina and in the Charlotte area have begun widely accepting walk-ins for COVID-19 vaccines in recent weeks.

That includes Mecklenburg County Public Health, Atrium Health and Novant Health.

In Mecklenburg, 30.9% of county residents are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus as of Tuesday, according to state Department of Health and Human Services data. And 40.7% of county residents are at least partially vaccinated.

But Mecklenburg County is still a long way from reaching herd immunity, local health experts say.

And it would be a “heavy lift” to get two-thirds of North Carolina adults vaccinated by June 1, Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris said last week.

NC Gov. Roy Cooper has said the state may be able to lift all mask mandates once at least two-thirds of adults get their first shot.

And herd immunity is thought to be even higher, needing 75% or 80% of the population to get the vaccine, Novant Health expert Dr. David Priest said Tuesday.

It’s possible the state won’t reach herd immunity, he said. That’s why it’s so important to make vaccination as easy as possible, Priest said.

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