COVID-19 Vaccines at Casper Wal-Mart Locations Open to ‘Almost Everybody’
Both Casper Walmart locations are now offering the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine and the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, both of which have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
The east side Walmart will be using the Moderna vaccine, which requires two shots, while the west side Walmart will be using the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which requires just one shot. The Moderna vaccine is currently being offered to “almost everybody,” according to Amy Vircks, the Pharmacy Manager of Casper Walmart’s Eastside Pharmacy location.
“We’ve got a ton of the [COVID-19] vaccine,” Vircks stated. “That huge weather storm had really hindered us because we were really affected when those 6 million doses did not go out. After that, they sent me double. They only let me do so many [vaccines] per week, so we’re having people sign up for the vaccine online, because almost everybody qualifies now; they just have to have one chronic condition. And they count things like obesity, diabetes, hypothyroidism, anything that count as a chronic condition.”
Vircks said that those who want to schedule a vaccine can do so online, at Walmart.com/covidvaccine. Individuals can choose which location they want to receive the vaccination at. The east side location is currently offering the Moderna vaccine, and the west side will begin distributing the Johnson and Johnson vaccine on Sunday, March 7.
Vircks said that on Friday, she had 20 extra doses to give out because they didn’t meet their required dosages the previous day, but people showed up in droves to receive the vaccine and they are now current with their required distribution. She said this was an example of why it’s so important to schedule appointments online.
“I think people are used to [the COVID vaccine] being like a flu shot,” she said. “Usually, we have unlimited flu shots so somebody could just walk up and get one. But [when it comes to the COVID vaccine], once I puncture a bile, it’s only good for up to 6 hours, so I have to calculate how many shots a day I can do.”
Because there is such a large amount of vaccines to offer, actual vaccinations are open to the widest range of people yet. According to Walmart’s website, those who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Wyoming are as follows:
- Individuals who are 65 years of age or older
- Healthcare workers
- Emergency Medical Service workers
- Law Enforcement
- First Responders
- Grocery Workers
- Corrections Officers/Staff
- Food and Agricultural Workers
- Staff of licensed-child-care providers, including center-based and family care providers.
- Persons ages 16-64 with at least one high-risk medical condition, such as Cancer, Chronic kidney disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), Down Syndrome, Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies, Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant, Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2), Severe Obesity (BMI > 40 kg/m2), Pregnancy, Sickle cell disease, Diabetes; immunocompromised state from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, long term high dose corticosteroids or other immune weakening medications; severe neurologic conditions, Severe neurologic conditions include: motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, quadriplegia or hemiplegia, progressive cerebellar disease, epilepsy, stroke and dementia
Those eligible for the vaccine simply go to the website and fill out a brief questionnaire, confirming that they belong to one of the aforementioned groups.
Another noteworthy item, Vircks stated, is that individuals who aren’t eligible may still be able to receive the vaccination.
“If somebody doesn’t qualify, we do put them on our waste list,” Virks said. “Sometimes I’ll have shots that can’t go to waste. If someone didn’t show up for their appointment or some of the vials have an extra dose in them, we can put somebody on the waste list and then call them and say ‘Hey, I’ve got a shot. Can you get down here in the next 20 minutes?’ And if they can, they don’t have to qualify. That’s how we get the people that don’t qualify.”
Vircks said that sometimes viles have 11 doses instead of 10 and, once she punctures the vial, it’s only good for up to 6 hours, so if it didn’t get used, it would just go to waste.
“That’s totally allowed,” she said. “It’s a part of our protocol, to make sure that they don’t go to waste. I can definitely still get some people who don’t qualify, and it’s perfectly okay. We’re just trying to make sure we don’t waste anything, and we’re also just trying to get people vaccinated so we can get these masks off.”
To schedule an appointment or determine eligibility, visit walmart.com/covidvaccine. If you do not receive a confirmation email, your scheduling did not go through.
LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions
While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.