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Walmart Just Added This to Its COVID-19 Policies

This new treatment option is free.

With over 5,000 locations in every state in the U.S., Walmart gives millions of Americans access to grocery and home products. But thanks to its pharmacy, prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and other health services are also available—including COVID-19 vaccinations.

The chain was one of the first retailers to offer the shots back in late 2020, and now it is again at the top of the list of places with another pandemic health offering. This time it's COVID-19 antiviral medications.

Related: Walmart Saw Sales Skyrocket in 2021 Thanks to This Perk

Walmart is now offering COVID-19 medication.

walmart vaccine sign
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19 on Dec. 22 and 23, 2021.

"This authorization provides a new tool to combat COVID-19 at a crucial time in the pandemic as new variants emerge and promises to make antiviral treatment more accessible to patients who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19," the director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Patrizia Cavazzoni, M.D. said at the time.

Walmart is wasting no time in getting the medications into the hands of its customers. Just a few days after the approval it announced that select Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacies will supply the pills with a prescription from a health care provider.

The pills help treat COVID-19 symptoms.

COVID pills
Photo Illustration by Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Pfizer's Paxlovid and Merck's Molnupiravir help treat mild-to-moderate coronavirus. Paxlovid can be taken by adults and kids aged 12 and over who weigh at least 88 pounds, and Molnupiravir by adults aged 18 and over. Both are only available by prescription for those who have tested positive and should be taken as soon as the diagnosis is made and within five days of symptoms starting.

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Here's how to find out if the Walmart near you has them—but they can only be picked up a certain way.

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Since the drugs are not available at all 4,800+ Walmart pharmacies, the chain created a store locator tool for health care providers and consumers to use. Typing in the city, state, or zip code pulls up a list of close locations that carry them.

Once a prescription is filled, consumers can pick it up either via curbside pickup or drive-thru only. Since the medications are for COVID-19 positive people, Walmart says anyone picking up a prescription should not enter the store.

Both medications are free.

Walmart COVID
Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Just like the COVID-19 vaccines, both Paxlovid and Molnupiravir are free of charge at the Walmart pharmacy—with the dispensing charges taken care of by insurance providers.

"This medication offers customers the option to recover at home and helps reduce the burden on our hospitals and communities," says Kevin Host, the senior vice president of pharmacy for Walmart. "As we have since the beginning of the pandemic, we're proud to support our communities through everyday essentials, healthy food, vaccines, medication and other health care needs as we all work together to weather the pandemic."

The chain is also still offering COVID-19 vaccination shots including boosters, for anyone ages 5 and up.

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Amanda McDonald
Amanda has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in digital journalism from Loyola University Chicago. Read more about Amanda