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Binghamton University, State University of New York

Pharmacies to play major role in distributing COVID-19 vaccine, sharing information

Your corner pharmacy will play a big role in delivering the COVID-19 vaccine and sharing important info with the public, according to Sarah Lynch, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

A key component of President Biden’s five-step vaccine plan is to “fully activate the pharmacies across the country.” This will greatly expand the number of providers to administer vaccines – and expand the role of pharmacists in the pandemic in the weeks and months ahead. 

“With the slow rollout, community pharmacies are being brought on board much sooner than anticipated,” said Lynch. “They’ve been an underutilized resource: U.S. pharmacies have experience storing and administering many types of vaccines. In 2018, they gave about one-third of all flu shots, up from 18% in 2012. They are now preparing to handle the new Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.”

Pharmacies are registering with the searchable Vaccine Finder website – where people will be able to search for participating pharmacies. Under a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate, pharmacists and pharmacist interns who have completed a minimum of 20 hours of accredited training are authorized to administer COVID-19 vaccines.

Along with administering the vaccine, pharmacists will help share vital information for those with concerns and questions. Many people are calling their local pharmacies with questions. Because the vaccine was produced, tested and approved in record time, some are questioning its safety, side effects and whether they can get the virus from the vaccine

“Vaccines have the power to bring this pandemic under control. They could possibly even end it, but only after some 70% of humanity is inoculated. Almost 90% of Americans live within five miles of a local pharmacy where, starting in February, many will be able to get vaccinated against this virus.”

For more information, visit https://theconversation.com/your-corner-pharmacy-joining-the-front-lines-of-the-covid-19-fight-153283.



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