How COVID-19 Vaccinations Have Affected Day-to-Day Operations at Walgreens Pharmacies
Pharmacy Times® interviewed Rina Shah, PharmD, group vice president of pharmacy operations and services at Walgreens, on the role of support staff during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccinations at pharmacies, and how the implementation of COVID-19 vaccinations has affected the day-to-day of pharmacies.
Alana Hippensteele: What has been the role of support staff during COVID-19 vaccinations at pharmacies, and how has the implementation of these vaccinations affected the day-to-day of pharmacies during these vaccination efforts?
Rina Shah: Well, our support staff is pretty much all hands on deck—it's our pharmacists, our technicians, our front of store employees. We have field leaders that are across the country working 7 days a week, 24/7 to help support vaccinations for long-term care facilities, or even just planning what the future looks like.
A way that they're supporting is also the pharmacists that are in those pharmacies are answering questions, filling prescriptions. The healthier we can keep our communities, the better chance we have on just fighting the virus in general because we know inventory is going to rollout in a stepwise fashion, and when inventory comes we can vaccinate, but until then we need to make sure everyone stays healthy.
So, from a staffing standpoint, our pharmacists that are in the stores managing day-to-day pharmacy, they're all extremely excited to be a part of it. They're waiting for vaccine to hit their pharmacy so that they can immunize, but until then they've been supporting our current day-to-day operations, they are staffed up appropriately to be able to do so. And so we're just anxiously waiting to get enough inventory so we can help support the vaccinations as more as more patients become eligible.