The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced Thursday that Walgreens is now able to offer COVID-19 vaccines. As part of a Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, 18,000 doses of the vaccine will be distributed to Walgreens across Wisconsin, said Julie Willems Van Dijk, the department’s deputy secretary.
Stephanie Schauer, the program manager at the Division of Public Health Immunization, said 178 Walgreens stores will have the vaccine.
"It’s a high percentage of stores, but not every store. And so, it's important for individuals to recognize that many stores will have the vaccine, but not all of them,” Schauer said.
The partnership is kicking off as vaccine distribution was down this week in Wisconsin, though numbers are still being tallied.
Willems Van Dijk said one explanation for the decline is a vaccine supply issue.
"Many of our health systems, who did have a few thousand extra doses waiting, were able to get those in the arms of people over age 65, and they no longer have those doses in inventory on the shelf. So, they’re only able to give what we’re sending week by week," she said.
As of Thursday, Wisconsin had more than 553,000 confirmed coronavirus cases. More than 6,100 people died from COVID-19.