The CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association, B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA, has joined Operation Warp Speed, the federal project developing vaccinations for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).1

“COVID-19 is a public health emergency and an economic emergency,” Hoey said in a statement. “A vaccine is imperative to stop the spread, save lives, and get the economy back on its feet.”

Operation Warp Speed was launched in June and includes the Department of Health and Human Services, which invited Hoey to join; as well as the CDC, FDA, National Institutes of Health, and Department of Defense. All stakeholders are working with pharmaceutical companies to produce 300 million doses of a vaccine as quickly as possible.

“Developing a vaccine in record time is the first hurdle,” Hoey said in a statement. “Then we need a way to distribute hundreds of millions of doses in record time. Community pharmacies are crucial to the administration of the millions of doses that will be needed to overcome the debilitating effect of the virus, and I’m glad to have the opportunity to represent community pharmacy as part of the effort.”

A recent survey found that 86% of community pharmacists are ready to administer COVID-19 vaccines once they become available. Hoey cited this survey in the statement, emphasizing that community pharmacists will be essential to distributing the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Community pharmacies are located where the people are, including rural and medically underserved areas,” Hoey said. “Three quarters of them already provide immunizations, and the overwhelming majority plan to administer COVID-19 vaccines when they come to the market.”


REFERENCE
  1. NCPA Part of Operation Warp Speed [news release]. National Community Pharmacists Association. Email; September 8, 2020.