Governor’s Decision on Public/Private Vaccine Partnership with Pharmacies Pays Off
Governor Asa Hutchinson’s historic public-private COVID-19 vaccine partnership with pharmacies across the state is paying off as the state progresses through Phase 1A and sees highly successful vaccination rates among community pharmacies. The state’s decision to choose pharmacies as a lead distributor of the COVID vaccine was based on pharmacists’ extensive professional education and training, their accessibility to the public, their wide reach across the state, and their ability to adapt to health crises with innovative solutions.
On Jan. 8, the Arkansas Pharmacists Association (APA) surveyed the 212 community pharmacies and three hospital redistribution partners who are currently administering the COVID vaccine in 73 of Arkansas’s 75 counties. 174 respondents reported they have received 50,379 total doses of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and have administered 27,733 of those doses by Sunday, Jan. 10, a 55% vaccination rate among COVID-vaccinating pharmacies in Arkansas. That number is even more impressive considering more than 10,000 of those total doses didn’t arrive to pharmacies until Jan. 9.
“Arkansas’s pharmacists have been moving with speed, agility, and great passion to get as many people vaccinated as possible in Phase 1A,” APA CEO John Vinson said. “To see the hard work and long hours our pharmacists have been putting in to fight back against this pandemic, it’s no surprise that Arkansas community pharmacists have one of the highest vaccination rates in the country.”
Additionally, the survey reflects 60 percent of the pharmacies have completed Phase 1A (based on their experience of declining appointments and inquiries from healthcare workers) and many more are expected to complete it this week. According to the state’s Attestation of Completion, a county is considered to have completed Phase 1A when 80% of the county’s health workers have either been vaccinated or have been offered a vaccine.