The government will incorporate community pharmacies in stage 1B vaccination that includes those over 65, announced the executive director of the Association of Community Pharmacies, Linda Ayala.
“Community pharmacies are scheduled to participate in the vaccination process in Phase 1B that are expected to receive vaccines between the second to the third week of January 2021. We are ready to collaborate in the vaccination process to ensure that the staff of the pharmacies as well as people over 65 can be vaccinated. The community pharmacies have the advantage that they are located throughout the island, so we can help ensure that the proposed vaccination schedule is met. The community pharmacies are ready, ”said Ayala.
Over 150 community pharmacies signed the contract with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) so they will only need the Department of Health to supply them with the vaccines. The pharmacies that signed the contract have already participated in training on how to maintain the cold chain of the vaccine and the protocol to inoculate their patients, so they are prepared and trained to carry out this effort.
“Dr. Iris Cardona, who has led these efforts for the Department of Health, has been a facilitator for the incorporation of community pharmacies in the administration of vaccines against Covid as soon as possible. She understands we are health professionals who can contribute to make this initiative successful. We have experience with other vaccination campaigns such as influenza, ”said Ayala.
The executive pointed out that it is important for people to be aware that where they receive their first dose is where they have to receive the second dose of the same vaccine as well.
“The governor-elect Pedro Pierluisi and the designated Health Secretary, Carlos Mellado, included the Association of Community Pharmacies in the Scientific Committee to attend to the emergency. We trust that we will continue to count on their support to allow pharmacies to be part of the solution ”.
In Puerto Rico there are about 850 community pharmacies throughout the Island.