Walmart Inc, according to a spokeswoman, is preparing to offer COVID-19 vaccinations in seven more states, as well as in Chicago and Puerto Rico, this week and next.
The move from the world’s largest retailer comes as U.S. President Joe Biden races to accelerate a frustratingly slow vaccination campaign that has stranded about half of 38 million shots in freezers.
Walmart is expanding beyond the two states where its pharmacists are offering inoculations.
This week and next, Walmart will start providing inoculations in Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, South Carolina and Texas as well as in Chicago and Puerto Rico, the spokeswoman elaborated.
The shots will only be available to specific populations decided by each state and only at a handful of stores in each state.
Walmart is already vaccinating healthcare workers in New Mexico and its home state of Arkansas.
Alabama’s state health officer, Scott Harris, on Thursday said it would partner with Walmart to provide COVID-19 vaccinations.
Walmart confirmed that deal, which falls under a federal partnership that Biden on Thursday said would launch in early February.
Harris said another deal, with a major pharmacy chain, is coming soon.