The Last Mile
The shipping industry often makes reference to “the last mile” as the slowest and most expensive component of the shipping process. From a logistical standpoint, it can take more time for a package to move one mile on a truck that is stopping house to house making deliveries than it took for that same package to travel a hundred miles in the belly of an aircraft at cruising altitude the day before. Similarly, golfers lament the missed 3-foot putt that counted as much toward the final score as the picture-perfect 350-yard drive that produced the 3-foot putt opportunity.
When it comes to COVID-19 vaccination and finally putting an end to this modern-day pandemic, we have reached the last mile. Vaccines have shipped from factory to distributor and will soon be inbound to community pharmacies (some may already be arriving). It is our job to take them on that last mile journey into the arms of an anxious and COVID-weary public.
As with any shipping and distribution process, that last mile is the most involved and requires the most work – but it is also the leg of the journey that is most visible to our communities. Time for pharmacy to take the baton and show the rest of the healthcare system and our public health partners just how fast we can move and how thoroughly we can reach those ‘difficult-to-access-by-others’ populations (which includes those wary of the vaccine but who trust their pharmacists implicitly). Let everyone see why community pharmacy is the hub of healthcare, and take some time to appreciate (perhaps after it is all over) the fact that you played a critical role in giving people their lives back.
The ‘ol Wells Fargo Wagon is coming…….now it’s time to drive it that last mile.