AUSTIN (KXAN) — CVS announced people in Texas can now walk into hundreds of its pharmacies and receive the COVID-19 vaccine without an appointment.
The nationwide pharmacy chain shared Wednesday that 800 locations in Texas alone are accepting walk-ins. However, people can still schedule an exact time online to get the shot, and they’ll likely be able to receive it that same day.
“They can get an appointment in as little as about an hour to many locations,” Akash Patel with CVS Health said. “There’s a location in almost every community, especially in central Texas.”
Patel said a couple of factors helped CVS to be able to offer COVID-19 vaccines on a walk-in or same-day basis, including the increasing amount of doses being allocated to its locations.
“We’re receiving additional allocations throughout the week whether it’s the Pfizer or Moderna or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as well as our workforce,” Patel said. “We are fully-staffed to ensure we could immunize every single person in this country, and we have improved our staffing as well as hiring additional pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and front store colleagues to ensure that this process is seamless.”
Patel said an appointment is still recommended so that people are guaranteed their second dose if they get the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. He added people will know what kind of shot they’re getting before arriving at their appointment.
“If a patient does have limited accessibility to the internet, our customer service department can help navigate through that process, or they can contact local stores or, if they come into a store, our health care professionals could help by navigating that process,” he said.
As of May 5, CVS shared its pharmacy locations have administered more than 17 million vaccine doses across the U.S. through its participation in a federal program. It’s unclear how many of those doses were administered specifically in Texas. However, the state reported Wednesday that more than half of those eligible to receive the vaccine have now gotten at least one dose.
Patel said CVS hopes these latest efforts to offer walk-in and same-day appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine may help address vaccine hesitancy.
“We know accessibility can sometimes can cause additional hesitancy,” he said, “so by having appointments available in a short amount of time and having our pharmacists involved to educate patients and to tell them about the safety and the benefits of getting the covid vaccine is far greater than the hesitancy that they may see. Our pharmacists and pharmacy team are up for that challenge to make sure that we educate every single community member.”
People can find more information about which CVS locations throughout Texas are offering the COVID-19 vaccine on the company’s website.