COVID vaccine confusion leads to frustration at Colorado Walmart pharmacies

Coronavirus

DENVER (KDVR) — Many Coloradans are reporting difficulties scheduling COVID-19 vaccines at Walmart stores across the state, specifically for second doses of the vaccine.

Pharmacists at Walmart stores are allegedly telling customers they cannot schedule second dose appointments, instead directing people to log back online to try to schedule appointments themselves.

However, that’s proving to be very difficult.

“They were already booked solid,” explained a 68-year-old woman named Judy, who tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers she logged online to try to schedule a second vaccine after her pharmacist was unable to do it.

Most hospitals and pharmacies schedule second appointments immediately after residents receive their first vaccine, ensuring doses are set aside for individuals who received the first dose.

“I thought, ‘This isn’t right. Something’s going to go wrong,'” Judy said, after being sent away without a follow-up appointment.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers it has heard similar stories from other Colorado residents.

In a news conference on Thursday, health officials addressed those concerns.

“We got reports of it and we brought it to Walmart executive leadership this morning,” said Brigadier General Scott Sherman, who is leading the state’s vaccination task force. “We would like whenever a first dose is administered that a second dose is scheduled. That’s our current policy, so we’re working that out with Walmart Corporation right now.”

The FOX31 Problem Solvers reached out to Walmart to ask if the company is making changes to its vaccine distribution procedures, but our calls and emails have not yet been returned.

Several customers do tell the Problem Solvers they received calls from Walmart pharmacists on Thursday to help them schedule the second appointments.

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