Large chain pharmacies start offering COVID-19 vaccines.

Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacies to cover Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma.
Some Area Large Chain Pharmacies Receive Vaccine

BARTON COUNTY, Mo. – Thousands of additional doses of Coronavirus vaccines are coming to residents in Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies have contracted with the federal government to provide vaccines in all three states. 81 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacy locations in the state will be offering them, starting February 12th, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Walmart says that residents will need to have appointments, which can be made on the Walmart and Sam’s Club websites.

There are seven locations in our local viewing area in Missouri — in Carthage, Webb City, four locations in Joplin and in Lamar.

For the Barton County Health Department, the additional vaccinator will mean a welcome reprieve after several stressful months.

“We’re excited about that. We’ve said from the very beginning that it’s gonna take a community wide effort to get anything done,” says Barton County Health Department Administrator Joel Dermott.

For almost a year now the health department’s small staff has handled contact tracing, fielding calls and questions from residents and they recently started administering vaccines.

The health department received its first shipment of 200 doses last week — and used the last of it on the 12th.

“I tell everybody it’s kind of a grind in a way because it’s just unrelenting. And it has been. And I mean, we’ve basically been at this for a year.,” says Dermott. “I don’t want to sound like a victim because we’re not. That’s our job. And we understand that, and we’re trying our very best to do that. It comes with the territory, and I think we’ve done as good as we can.”

According to DHSS, the doses that go to Walmart will come directly from the federal supply instead of taking away from the state’s normal allocation. So providers like the Barton County Health Department will keep getting doses from the state.

“We’ve worked with our local hospital very well and they’re a partner of ours in so many things. The pharmacies do a great job locally here as well. To see Walmart involved in the game… I mean, they bring their own resources to it that others don’t have. That helps everyone. So we’re excited about it,” adds Dermott.

DHSS says as more vaccines come down the pipeline, more pharmacy locations across the state will receive doses.