INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The long-awaited vaccine has finally arrived at one of the metro’s largest retailers.
Five Walmart locations on the Missouri side of the state line, as well as three in the metro’s Kansas regions, began vaccinating customers on Friday morning. Customers that FOX4 spoke with said the vaccines arrived at a crucial time.
“This is the big moment. We’ve been waiting for this,” said Nathan Flickinger, a Walmart pharmacist serving as spokesperson, said Friday.
Flickinger confirmed the arrival of a shipment of Modern vaccines, which could potentially save lives from COVID-19’s onslaught. Friday marked the first day 82 Walmart stores across the Show-Me State can deliver the injections.
“The hardest part of the wait is probably the questions, getting patients coming in and asking, ‘When are you going to have this?’” Flickinger said. “The states are doing the best they can with the allocations they’re given to provide the vaccine. Though this federal partnership, we’ve been able to speed up some of that process as well.”
There is no cost for the vaccine, but Flickinger recommends customers register on the company’s website. Many customers who arrived at the Walmart store in Independence weren’t aware the vaccine would be available that day.
“It’s been frustrating. I always make sure to keep my sanitizer on me,” customer Taneshia Allee said. “I’m ready for it. I’m ready to carry my backside back in there and go get my vaccine.”
“I don’t feel like I need to be in the front of the line. We need the elders and people who need it worse than I do. I’m a patient individual, and I have no problem with waiting,” customer Pat Benware said.
Even if customers have registered on Walmart’s website, it’s a good idea to check in with your pharmacist. Flickinger advised that some patients are likely to miss or skip their appointments, which would make doses available to people in need.
Three Kansas locations also began vaccinating on Friday as well, including stores in Lawrence and Leavenworth, as well as the location at Alden Street in Olathe. A representative from Ball Foods said many Price Chopper and Hen House stores will get their shipments Monday.