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This article has been translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors can occur due to this process.
The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.
A few weeks ago, Dr. Tom Van Gilder, Walmart's Chief Medical Officer, announced the chain is preparing to ship the COVID-19 vaccine to more than 5,000 pharmacies across the United States. It was rumored on social media that the Pfizer immunizer could be bought at Walmart and Sam & # 39; s Club for just $ 20, or around 400 Mexican pesos. But what's the truth about it?
According to an official statement from Walmart, the company was in the process of acquiring the equipment needed to store the vaccines, such as specialty freezers and dry ice. These must be kept at a temperature between -80 and -60 ° C so that they remain effective for up to 6 months. In a typical hospital refrigeration unit, the drug will remain viable for five days, Pfizer said.
Many people misunderstood and spread the ad that the Pfizer vaccine was being sold in such supermarkets. The rumor was accompanied by a picture of a doctor on which it appeared 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.
Because this image went viral allegedly showing a # COVID19 vaccine sold at Walmart. The company claims it's not real. pic.twitter.com/A3wJS0rmWJ
– Why is it trending? (@porkestendencia) December 27, 2020
Mexican internet users repeated the false information and expressed outrage that the country's government 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 sales by individuals and warned the population of possible fraud.
Many accused Andrés Manuel López Obrador's government of trying to monopolize the vaccine by preventing people from receiving a dose themselves.
The vaccine for #COVID ー 19 is now on sale at Walmart
But in the US
In Mexico he won't go because only those who have money could buy it and where he and his votes would stay, he prefers thousands of Mexicans to die
– It hurts Mexico (@me_duele_mexico) December 27, 2020
Several others stated their plans to travel to the US as soon as possible to receive them.
And at Walmart in the fish department pic.twitter.com/VAXhWBb12w
– Firefly Nobody said it was easy. (@ luz611230) December 27, 2020
Will the vaccine be available at Walmart and Sam & # 39; s Club or not?
In the pharmacies of Walmart and Sam & # 39; s Club, the vaccine against COVID-19 is used, but at least not for the time being for sale.
The idea is to expand the vaccination network and reach remote areas because, according to the company, "90% of the US population lives within 10 miles of a Walmart." The plan could speed up the vaccination process in the United States, where around one million doses have been administered by December 23, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Can someone get vaccinated at Walmart in the US?
No. The vaccination schedule set by the CDC is very similar to that which several countries like Mexico will follow. Priority will be given to health workers and the elderly and then gradually immunized to the rest of the population.
“We are preparing our 5,000+ pharmacies in Sam & # 39; s Clubs and Walmart stores to be ready when it comes to managing key employees, first responders and senior Americans in Priorities 1B and 1C as per the latest recommendation . of the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, "the chain said.
A few months ago, when the U.S. government announced Operation Warp Speed, it promised to receive 300 million doses against COVID-19 by 2021. However, on December 24, CNN reported that there were only 9.5 million doses, according to the CDC. A day earlier, the CDC itself confirmed that only one million people had been vaccinated in that country. Even so, it is projected that 20 million doses will be administered 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 precedence to citizens of the neighboring country to receive the vaccine against COVID-19. Therefore, a foreign visitor is unlikely to access the vaccination at this time.
In summary, it can be said that the supermarket chain is currently not selling the vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is unknown if this is planned in the future once the drug is used on the most vulnerable population. In the meantime, you don't need to have your visa on hand or pack your bags to get vaccinated at a Walmart in the United States.