Pharmacists Have the Opportunity to Lead By Example With COVID-19 Vaccinations

Pharmacy Times® interviewed Sue Peschin of the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project on the role of pharmacies in vaccinating the public with the COVID-19 vaccines.

Pharmacy Times® interviewed Sue Peschin, president and CEO of Alliance for Aging Research and the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project, on role of pharmacies in vaccinating the public with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines.

Alana Hippensteele: How about what is the role of pharmacies in vaccinating the public with these COVID-19 vaccines?

Sue Peschin: Well pharmacies and pharmacists have a tremendous role to play in this execution of this whole effort because this is really, I think the largest effort of its kind that's ever occurred. While we have, I think, a lot of good infrastructure in place on the pediatric side, this is primarily focused on the adult side, so this is a lot more challenging, and we really need the pharmacies and the pharmacist’s expertise to make this all happen.

One of the silver linings in this pandemic has been how pharmacists have really been empowered to provide these life-saving vaccinations, and they're going to continue in a variety of ways as the vaccines become available at local pharmacies hopefully. The chain store pharmacies, grocery store pharmacies, and the pharmacy counter is frequently a source of counsel for many people, especially older adults, and we fully expect that to continue.

It's important for the pharmacist themselves to get the vaccine and also to feel confident and convey that confidence in talking with individuals about the vaccines and fielding their questions.

Alana Hippensteele: Do you have any closing thoughts on these issues?

Sue Peschin: I was very inspired by what I saw this morning on live television. It's really important to people who have influence in this society, and I don't I'm not talking about celebrity influencers necessarily, or you know social network influencers, I'm just talking about regular people that we look to, whether it be politicians or our local pharmacist or our fire chief or our doctor, to serve as examples in the community to get the vaccine themselves, to be confident about it, and to really try to encourage as many people as possible in the community to get vaccinated. That's the only way we're going to turn this around—we need everyone to take part. One of our campaign project themes is Count Me In, and we want folks to count themselves in because that's what's going to get us back to normal.