Pharmacies statewide step up to the plate to vaccinate NWA healthcare workers
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Pharmacists are working around the clock to vaccinate as many healthcare workers as possible.
Scott Pace is the owner of Kavanaugh Pharmacy in Little Rock- one of the first to store the Pfizer vaccines.
Over the last several weeks, he has gone the extra mile- or hundreds of miles- to help get vaccines to rural hospitals in northwest Arkansas.
“The pandemic has affected every facet of life and if i can play a little part in driving a few extra miles along interstate 40 and 49 I was happy to do it.”
There are now 12 pharmacies in the state who have the equipment to store the Pfizer shots, including Collier Drug Store in Fayetteville, helping take the load off the original few pharmacies having to distribute across the state.
“It really became just a no brainer for us to use that extra piece to help solve a crisis that we’ve all been facing,” Pace said.
Meanwhile, pharmacists in Washington County are also stepping up to the plate to help vaccinate healthcare workers. Saturday the pharmacists vaccinated 609 people within just a few hours.
“We are trying very hard, obviously, as you can see, to vaccinate as many of those as we can to move on to phase 1B,” said Victoria Hennessey, owner of Community Pharmacy in Springdale.
She is working with Collier Drug Store and Medical Arts Pharmacy to vaccinate as many people as possible, hoping this will help progress to phase 1B.
“With it being such a small number of pharmacies to take care of a large number of people we have been in communication and combining forces to make that happen,” said Julie Stewart, pharmacist at Medical Arts Pharmacy.
In three weeks the pharmacies will come back together to give these healthcare workers their second doses. But, Stewart said this is a partnership they expect to last beyond phase 1A.
“We’re learning good work flows and I feel like we’re really gonna have it down to a science and probably be doing this a lot so we can take care of a lot of people,” Stewart said.
This extra work to provide shots across Washington County is something Hennessey said she has been waiting to do since the pandemic began.
“Our other healthcare workers have played their parts to care for our communities,” she said. and “Pharmacists are just ready to do our part.”