Residents of DeSoto County looking to get vaccinated for COVID-19 will soon be able to book appointments for the shot at three area Walmart stores.
Walmart in Southaven (6811 Southcrest Parkway), Olive Branch (7950 Craft Goodman Frontage Road), and Horn Lake (4150 Goodman Road West) will begin offering the shot starting Friday.
Mississippi health officials said about 200 doses of the vaccine will be made available to 31 Walmart stores across the state, but will not take away doses allocated to the states.
The doses are part of the U.S. Federal Retail Program which will make one million vaccine doses available to about 6,500 retail pharmacies on Feb. 11 , and eventually to about 40,000 drug and grocery stores.
The stores were chosen with an emphasis on reaching underserved areas with limited access to health care.
DeSoto County EMS Director Mark Davis said the extra vaccine doses being made available to Walmart will be a big help.
“Everyone goes to Walmart,” Davis said. “So that will give us more options for appointments. That’s been one of the biggest problems we have had now is the availability of the vaccine.
Davis said the Mississippi National Guard has been doing an excellent job administering the shots to residents at the Landers Center.
“We started at 400 (doses), then we went up to 600,” Davis said. “We are up to right around 800 right now.”
Davis said he is not certain exactly how many doses Walmart will be allotted. A call to the Walmart in Horn Lake for comment was referred to the corporate office in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Davis said at a minimum being able to get vaccinated at your local Walmart will help alleviate some of the wait time to get an appointment.
“With so many people waiting it will help get the numbers up faster for people over 65 and our seniors who are eligible now,” Davis said. “I don’t think it is going to take the pressure off the Landers Center because we have so many who are waiting. But the more appointments the better. This will help us get more people vaccinated.”
To sign up for the vaccine, visit walmart.com/covidvaccine.