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Walmart vaccine website goes down on first day

Website ‘experiencing technical difficulties’ after rush for vaccine appointments

People shop at a Walmart Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in El Paso, Texas. The Justice Department is suing Walmart, alleging the company unlawfully dispensed controlled substances through its pharmacies, helping to fuel the opioid crisis in America, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. The civil complaint being filed Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020 points to the role Walmarts pharmacies may have played in the crisis by filling opioid prescriptions and by unlawfully distributing controlled substances to the pharmacies during the height of the opioid crisis, the person said. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

People trying to book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination through Walmart were met with an apology Wednesday morning.

“Sorry... Walmart pharmacies in this location do not administer COVID-19 vaccines yet. Please enter a different location or try again later,” the website said regardless of which zip code, city or state was entered into the tool designed to help one find a participating Walmart pharmacy.

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The company later released a statement.

“The Walmart scheduling system is currently experiencing technical difficulties following a surge of appointments. Our team is working to resolve the matter to have the scheduler back online as soon as possible.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday that 119 locations of the big box chain, along with its sister franchise Sam’s Club, would be offering vaccinations in 34 Florida counties starting on Friday. Appointments must be made entirely online at walmart.com/covid or samsclub.com/covid.

[FIND THE FULL LIST OF PARTICIPATING WALMARTS AND SAM’S CLUBS HERE]

The vaccine doses are being provided to Walmart through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. Publix and Winn-Dixie are also receiving vaccine doses through that federal program.