GREENE COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Your neighborhood pharmacy could now be taking part in the COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
As News Channel 11’s Pheben Kassahun learned, local pharmacists in Greene County participated in their first day of vaccine distribution through a partnership Tennessee Department of Health.
This is another access point for people to get vaccinated, through a partnership between the state health department, pharmacies, and community health centers in rural areas.
Corley’s Pharmacy owner and pharmacist Alan Corley told Kassahun, “We’re used to doing this for the flu vaccine, the shingles vaccine, pneumonia vaccine and other vaccines, so I think we can help.”
Pharmacies are joining the growing list of health professionals working to create herd immunity.
“Having the opportunity to play a critical role in that and administering vaccines to those folks in our population that desperately need it probably going to be one of the rewarding parts of our careers,” Greene County Drug pharmacist Brandon Farmer said.
Greene County Drug has received 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine.
“Our goal is to administer around 20 vaccines per day because we do have to incorporate the vaccine administration into our workflow here at the pharmacy and continue to serve the other needs of our patients as well,” Farmer said.
Farmer said the drug store will take vaccine appointments by phone.
“This first day has been exiting. Our staff has been a little overwhelmed by the phone calls that our patients that we’re seeing but at the same time, we are looking very forward to this,” Farmer said.
Corley’s Pharmacy has received 400 vaccines total, but will work to give priority to nursing homes before giving it to the general public next week.
Corley said, “Once we have it available, for the general public to make appointments, it will be on my website at Corleyspharmacysolutions.com. There will be a link there to actually make an appointment and to complete the form.”
Since Corley’s Pharmacy has access to a pharmacy network called Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (CPESN), Alan Corley anticipates receiving vaccines from not only the state of Tennessee but through an organization under the federal pharmacy partner.
Corley said, “We’re kind of down here at the end waiting, without much control of what we get but when we get them we’re happy and we’re happy to give the shots.”
Next week, Corley’s Pharmacy hopes to administer vaccines through a drive-thru method for a smoother process.
Kassahun reached out to TDH with further questions about the vaccine distribution at local pharmacies. A statement was released:
“These partnerships will help bring the vital resource of COVID-19 vaccines to Tennesseans in communities most vulnerable to serious and lasting social and economic challenges due to the pandemic. The number of doses these facilities will receive is not available at this time.
Providers and facilities are expected to receive COVID-19 vaccines this week, and will handle their own scheduling processes for administering vaccinations.”Bill Christian, spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Health