Local Pharmacies Host Large Clinics to Vaccinate Thousands Across the State of Iowa
In recent weeks, local pharmacies across the state of Iowa have administered COVID-19 vaccines to thousands of patients in their communities following state eligibility guidelines. These pharmacies, located in small towns and cities alike, are part of CPESN...In recent weeks, local pharmacies across the state of Iowa have administered COVID-19 vaccines to thousands of patients in their communities following state eligibility guidelines. These pharmacies, located in small towns and cities alike, are part of the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (CPESN), designated by the federal government through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program to help increase access to the COVID-19 vaccine across the country. With such an important role, some may wonder, Why pharmacies?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains, “Pharmacists are highly trusted and trained healthcare providers who have direct access to and knowledge of their patient populations.” They are “trained to counsel patients, administer vaccine, and provide vaccine education,” and they are easily reachable with a majority of Americans living within five miles of a pharmacy. For these reasons, the federal government made pharmacies a key part of its national vaccination strategy.
CPESN-Iowa member pharmacies in Sioux City, Dubuque, Waterloo, Iowa City, Davenport, Atlantic, Estherville and Maquoketa have recently hosted large-scale vaccine clinics with 1,000 or more doses administered, many in close partnership with local public health departments. CPESN-Iowa pharmacies have vaccinated over 50,000 Iowans to date. These large-scale clinics are crucial in bringing supplies to many communities that have received limited allotments of the vaccine and increasing access for patients.
Iowa Pharmacy Association's Executive Vice President & CEO, Kate Gainer, stated, “Hosting mass vaccination clinics is a large effort, and pharmacists are rolling up their sleeves to do this important work. Iowans know and trust their local pharmacist, and these clinics are an important step in nearing the end the COVID-19 pandemic.”