WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) — Meijer says it is launching walk-in clinics for the COVID-19 vaccines at every single one of its pharmacies, though it warns availability of those shots is still limited.
Each Meijer store will have at least 100 walk-up doses — either Pfizer or Moderna — available each week. The metro Grand Rapids-based retail giant said those doses will go on a first-come, first-served basis.
It cited increased supply in allowing the change.
“The ability to offer the vaccines on a walk-up basis at every Meijer store demonstrates we are getting closer to ensuring everyone has the ability to get vaccinated,” Meijer Vice President of Pharmacy Jason Beauch said in a Monday statement.
The West Michigan Vaccine Clinic at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids also has walk-in first-dose appointments Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pfizer shots will be given.
Spectrum Health Chief Operating Officer Brian Brasser told News 8 Monday that across the state, health providers are seeing a growing supply of vaccines but decreased demand.
“One of the ways that we’re responding to that is making sure our community is aware that we have a very easy access to vaccines, so if it works for our community members to come down to DeVos Place — free parking, in-and-out — we’re also adding the components of walk-ins,” Brasser said.
Kristina Wieghmink, a spokesperson for the Ottawa County Health Department, says they began making the option available last week.
“We began offering walk-in opportunities at our vaccination clinics. We are also offering that this week in Grand Haven and in Holland,” Weighmink said.
The department sees the move as just one example of how they plan to adapt to get the vaccine to people who need it now that eligibility has opened up to people 16 years old or older.
“We’re not filling clinics as quickly as possible because the younger age group might not feel that it’s much of an urgency or it might not be as convenient,” Weighmink said.
Kalamazoo County Health and Community Service held a walk-in clinic Monday hoping to find more people who have not received their shots.
Lyndi Warner, a public information officer with the department, says they want people to know they no longer need to wait.
“At the very beginning when the vaccine was rolling out, it was wait your turn. We needed to get to certain age groups first and supply was limited. Now, we have the supply, now is your turn, now is your chance,” Warner said.
You can still register and set up an appointment to get vaccinated at your Meijer, ensuring you’ll get your dose, by texting COVID to 75049 or going to clinic.meijer.com. To sign up for a shot at DeVos Place, go to wmvaccineclinic.com. You can also go to VaccinateWestMI.com or check in with your local health department or pharmacy to find a dose near you — either by appointment or at a walk-in clinic.
Meijer added its pharmacies have now administered more than 1 million shots around the Midwest.
“The one million vaccine milestone is a tremendous achievement by our incredibly hard-working pharmacy teams,” Meijer President & CEO Rick Keyes said in a statement. “When the vaccine rollout began, we were focused on moving as quickly as possible to keep our communities safe. Achieving this number in just over three months is a true demonstration of the focus and tenacity of the Meijer team members involved in this important initiative.”