COVID-19 Vaccinations from Arkansas Pharmacies
As COVID-19 vaccination efforts begin nationwide, Arkansas pharmacies across the state are stepping up to immunize their communities. Nationwide only 2 states have elected to initially distribute the vaccine through community pharmacies in addition to distributing doses to hospitals. Arkansas is one of these states. The first vaccinations were received by 5 pharmacies and 13 hospitals throughout the state. Vaccination distribution efforts were prioritized according to location, population density and affiliation with CPESN.
Throughout the pandemic, our CPESN pharmacies have worked with the Office of Emergency Management. They have coordinated with the office to ensure that first responders including police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians are able to receive their vaccines and continue to serve their communities by providing essential services. Community pharmacies will also provide vaccinations to other priority groups including primary and urgent care providers, school nurses, university health care workers and those in the dental field.
Community pharmacies will play an even larger role vaccination efforts are expanded to include other groups. As the state rolls out the vaccine, an additional 144 pharmacies will offer COVID-19 vaccination services. In Arkansas a large majority of the vaccinations given will originate from community pharmacies. A total of 300 pharmacies within the state have signed on to provide the vaccine as it becomes more readily available . All but three counties within the state will be serviced by at least one community pharmacy within its borders. The other three counties will distribute the vaccines through their local health departments.
Arkansas colleges of pharmacies have also stepped up to provide aid to pharmacies offering the vaccine. UAMS College of Pharmacy has coordinated with different community pharmacies to offer a way to volunteer to administer the vaccine to patients. Both pharmacy students and faculty members have signed up to offer their time and patient care skills on the front lines where it is needed most.
Lara Rains, PharmD Candidate 2022
Team Arkansas Flip the Pharmacy Intern