Local pharmacies to soon administer COVID-19 vaccines

Published: Feb. 3, 2021 at 6:16 PM EST
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - The Biden administration announced their plans to provide a million COVID-19 vaccines across pharmacies in the U.S per week.

This is in response to the more serious strains of the virus that are appearing across the country.

“Pharmacies stand ready, willing and able to provide vaccines to our communities across West Virginia,” said Dr. Betsy Elswick PharMD Associate Professor at WVU.

In West Virginia, Dr. Elswick says we have already been utilizing our pharmacies on a local level to distribute the COVID-19 vaccines.

This new program will include chains like Walgreens and CVS. As of now, health officials aren’t sure what other pharmacies will be a part of this weekly distribution.

With 45% of the states pharmacies being independently owned, Dr. Clay Marsh says that’s what brings the state success.

“We have 250 pharmacies located all over the state, half of which are privately owned, and that the federal program would not get us to where we wanted to go as quickly,” said Dr. Marsh.

So far, the first dose of the vaccine has been provided to every nursing home and long-term care facility according to officials and now as healthcare workers aim to continue moving forward with administration, Dr. Elswick says with the 1 million vaccine distribution happening soon, there are other factors that are also uncertain.

“What we don’t know as a state is how many doses West Virginia will be getting,” said Dr. Elswick. “Where we need help is we just need more vaccines. We have immunizers, we have places that can deliver, what we need is the vaccine to get into peoples arms.”

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