Walmart system mistakenly allows anyone with underlying conditions to register for vaccine

Walmart says it mistakenly opened up vaccine appointments in Florida for those who have underlying conditions but are under the age of 65 Thursday.

Many people who thought they met new criteria for vaccines with Walmart successfully signed up for vaccine appointments with the supermarket chain.

On the Walmart vaccine portal, it showed a category selection at one point for the signup process, and there was an option for those “Deemed extremely vulnerable.”

Although Walmart has updated this to revert back to current state criteria to only vaccinate those members of the public who are 65 and older, we are told Walmart will honor all those who successfully signed up for a vaccine as someone with underlying health conditions.

That means some people under 65 with underlying conditions will receive a first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Walmart in the state.

For some people we spoke to, it still does not make up for all the people who were hoping this could open doors for them too.

“That was something they were offering that no one else was offering,” said Cindy Mihm, a 64-year-old who has multiple underlying conditions.

But Walmart has since pulled back that offer, saying the Walmart scheduling program defaulted to the criteria on the Florida Department of Health’s website.

“Oh, my God, that’s like a huge mistake,” Mihm said. “How could someone do that?”

Mihm was not happy to hear that many people received false hope.

“Preventing me from getting access, and it takes so much of my energy to do all of this,” Mihm said. “And now he’s pulling that out from under me.”

Walmart says it’s working to align the scheduling system with specific populations the state asked them to vaccinate under the federal retail pharmacy partnership.

“Here, we had some help a lifeline sent out to us, and now it’s being taken back,” Mihm said. “Wow, that’s bad.”

Again, if you have an underlying condition and are under 65 and got an appointment with Walmart Thursday, go to your appointment.

You’re asked to bring a doctor’s note, ID and an insurance card.

Reporter:Taylor Smith
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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