Walmart apologizes, “re-educating” pharmacy teams after confusion over vaccine appointments

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DENVER — In the past week, Contact Denver7 has received several emails from confused Coloradans who say they were told by Walmart they’d have to schedule their own appointment to receive the second-dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Walmart told me they didn’t have the capabilities to set up a second appointment,” said Jeanie, who wrote in to Contact Denver7.

“What I was told regarding the follow up shot, the second vaccine, they said they weren’t scheduling them because they didn’t have access to the online scheduler — they couldn’t put it in the computer,” said Judy, who also wrote in.

“Its very concerning when it appears they have manual processes,” Judy said. “How are they going to ensure that the right people are getting their shots at the right time and that they have enough vaccine to accommodate all the people they’ve given their first shot to?”

According to U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Scott Sherman, head of the state’s vaccine task force, vaccines are supposed to be scheduled immediately after the first dose is provided.

“We got reports of it, and we brought that up to Walmart executive leadership — that we would like whenever a first dose is administered, a second dose is scheduled,” Sherman said during a Thursday press briefing. “That’s our current policy, so we’re working that with the Walmart Corporation right now.”

On Friday, Walmart sent the following statement to Denver7 in regards to the confusion:

Our pharmacy staff should be scheduling second doses through a manual process when the customer is on site after receiving the first dose. We are re-educating our pharmacy teams on this process to help ensure customers have a reserved date and time for their second dose of covid vaccine. For those customers who did not have their second dose appointments made at the time of their first dose, our pharmacy teams will be reaching out to schedule their second dose appointments in the next several days. We are sorry for the confusion and our teams are working hard to make sure second dose appointments are made.

Walmart spokesperson

Denver7 also reached out for clarity on how Walmart is monitoring the number the COVID-19 vaccines at each site, but didn’t hear back.