Managing Concerns Around Vaccinating the Public With the COVID-19 Vaccines

Pharmacy Times® interviewed Michael Flannery, PharmD, the assistant director of pharmacy operations at the University of Rochester Medical Center, on the concerns he has regarding the COVID-19 vaccination process ahead.

Pharmacy Times® interviewed Michael Flannery, PharmD, the assistant director of pharmacy operations at the University of Rochester Medical Center, on the concerns he has regarding the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination process ahead.

Alana Hippensteele: Do you have any concerns regarding how the University of Rochester Medical Center will plan, receive, and administer the COVID-19 vaccine to patients when that's possible down the road?

Michael Flannery: So, with the patients, when we get to that step, you know, we're taking a lot of that guidance from the Department of Health. The big unknown with this is the amount of vaccine that we're going to receive, and when we receive it. Obviously, we have different levels that the Department of Health has set forth as far as who gets what. We're taking the communication or direction from the Department of Health for that.

So, I know that we do have a number of people in our community that are very interested in receiving the vaccine. We fielded a number of phone calls in our primary care teams as well, so there's a lot of information out there, and a lot of excitement about the vaccine. But, you know, I would say the biggest thing right now is not knowing exactly how much vaccine is available to us, and when it will be available to us.

Alana Hippensteele: Is it possible to take any steps in advance to prepare for this or is that not necessarily something that you can do right now?

Michael Flannery: I think, as far as our employees, and we're going to really base our community vaccinations off of what we learned with our employee vaccinations. We're really just setting up clinics, anticipating that we will be receiving the vaccine.

If we have received the vaccine, we're going to go through and get those clinics scheduled with patients and administered. If we have to hold off because we haven't received the vaccine yet, you know, we will address that when we come to that. But as of right now, we have received vaccine, and we're trying to get it in as many people's arms as possible.