LOS ANGELES - CVS pharmacies are now accepting walk-ins for COVID-19 vaccines nationwide with no appointment necessary, the company announced Wednesday.
According to a spokesperson with CVS Health, the new policy will include same-day requests and appointments as soon as one hour from the time of scheduling.
"We continue to orchestrate an all-out effort to vaccinate the nation against COVID-19," said CVS Health President and CEO Karen S. Lynch. "Thanks to the dedication and effort of our colleagues, I am proud to say we helped achieve the President’s accelerated 100-day goal of 200 million vaccines and have administered over 17 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to date. Our customers continue to give us high satisfaction scores based on their interactions with colleagues and our customer-centric digital approach for scheduling appointments."
FILE - CVS store near Times Square, Friday, March 27, 2020 in New York. (Diane Bondareff/CVS Health)
As of May 5, CVS Health is now administering vaccinations in more than 8,300 stores across 49 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., and has surpassed 17 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered through its participation in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program and Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, according to the spokesperson.
The news comes one day after Walmart and Sam’s Club announced that pharmacy locations would begin administering walk-up COVID-19 vaccines in addition to pre-scheduled appointments. Vaccine recipients do not have to be a member of Sam’s Club to get the shot, according to a news release.
"Now that supply and eligibility have expanded, it’s even more important for us to reach underserved and vulnerable populations to ensure equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine," Dr. Cheryl Pegus, Walmart’s executive vice president of Health & Wellness, said, in the news release on Tuesday.
"Widespread vaccination is the only way we will eventually end the pandemic and help our country reopen, and we don’t want anyone to get left behind as we enter this new chapter in our fight against COVID-19," Pegus said.
The Biden administration is in a "new phase" of vaccinations as it seeks to make it easier for people to get shots amid waning demand. Biden called for states to make COVID-19 vaccines available on a walk-in basis and said he will direct all federal pharmacy partners to do the same.
Nationwide, more than 56% of U.S. adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and nearly 41% of American adults are fully vaccinated against the virus, CDC data shows.
The vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, one of three currently being administered in the U.S. and authorized for those 16 and older, has been found to offer protection for young people ages 12 to 15. The FDA is expected to expand its emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s vaccine for those 12 and older by early next week, according to the Associated Press.
Inoculating younger Americans will be critical in curbing the spread of the virus to end the pandemic. Part of Biden’s American Rescue Plan also calls for support to help local governments and schools safely reopen classrooms to in-person learning.
You can also make an appointment to get vaccinated online at CVS.com.
FOX Television Stations’ Megan Ziegler and the Associated Press contributed to this report.