Small pharmacies will play a big role in vaccine distribution

Small pharmacies will play a big role in vaccine distribution
Hazel Green Pharmacy working with ADPH to get COVID-19 vaccine. (Source: SOURCE: WAFF)

HAZEL GREEN, Ala. (WAFF) - With a fresh start to the new year, more and more people are trying to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Several facilities across North Alabama are working to help people get vaccinated, including Hazel Green Pharmacy.

The pharmacist said he won’t have the vaccine in stock or won’t be able give vaccines to the public until the ADPH moves us from Phase 1-A to Phase 2.

Doctor Karen Landers said it could be spring or summer before we move to Phase 2.

Pharmacist Mike Powers, and the rest of the team at Hazel Green Pharmacy, has always promoted health and wellness. They didn’t think twice about opening the store to serve as a vaccination distribution center.

“With COVID being so rampant in our community, even at this very moment, we wanted to do something to help our community stay healthy,” said Powers.

He is still waiting for the final decision from the Alabama Department of Public Health, but said things are looking promising. A freezer capable of storing the Moderna vaccine arrived earlier this month.

“We have to maintain the temperature in those, keep the data up, and once we begin to administer there are still stringent guidelines with that.”

There is no doubt, being a vaccination center comes with its challenges. The team will have to keep a close eye on the freezer temperature, ensure social distancing while distributing the vaccine, and stick to a strict cancellation policy for when the vaccine becomes available to the general public.

“If you miss you appointment unfortunately we’re going to have to put you in the back of the line because it is so critical to get all those vaccines out because we have a limited supply and we don’t want to waste any of them. It’s only good for six hours once we break the seal on that vaccine.”

In Alabama, more than 42-thousand doses have been administered since mid-December. That’s less than 20% of the state’s allotment. Just over the state line in Tennessee more than 126-thousand vaccines have been administered.

“It depends on the supply, it depends on the uptake, and the ability of the county to be able to administer the vaccine whether that is through the hospital, the health department, or another entity,” said Doctor Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Powers is eager to jump in and help distribute vaccines. He knows his small pharmacy will play a big role in protecting our community. “Just another way to prove once again that we are here for the community and be able to help you with your health and wellness.”

We will keep you updated as we learn more about vaccine distribution in Alabama.

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