Triad pharmacies could help speed up vaccine rollout

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HIGH POINT, N.C. — Local pharmacies are getting ready to play bigger roles in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan.

In the coming weeks, the White House will send doses directly to independent pharmacies across North Carolina. The federal pharmacy program will help expand how and where people can get vaccinated.

A locally-owned pharmacy in High Point is standing by for its first shipment.

“We have been doing training and been getting our storage ready, so we have the temperature monitor ready to go, all setup and just waiting for the vaccines to come in,” said Fiona Cole, a pharmacist at Nolan’s Family Pharmacy.

Cole will be responsible for storing, administering, monitoring, and reporting vaccinations.

She opened Nolan’s Family Pharmacy in High Point last February. A year later, she’s helping her community overcome the greatest public health emergency of our lifetime.

The program is a collaboration between the federal government and pharmacy partners. Initially, one million doses will be distributed to 6,500 stores nationwide.

Next week is when select retail pharmacies will receive a limited vaccine supply. For now, people will have to wait to visit their neighborhood pharmacy until the shot becomes more widely available.

“They just seem frustrated that they are not able to do it right at this time,” Cole said.

It’s uncertain when doses will get in their hands, but they are prepared when the time comes.

“We are so happy that we are able to serve the community in this way. We hopefully will be able to continue to do our best and make our customers happy,” Cole said.

Cole says the federal government will reimburse them based on the number of vaccines they administer.

Cole requested 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine, and the pharmacy already has a wait list.

Pharmacies participating in the program are still required to follow state guidelines for vaccine eligibility.

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