How Missouri’s prioritized vaccine shipments affect local pharmacies

WEBB CITY, Mo- Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced in a briefing that pharmacies throughout Missouri will begin receiving prioritized shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine through a new state pharmacy program.

This includes local pharmacies like Prater’s Pharmacy in Webb City. Adam Fletcher, manager of Prater’s Pharmacy says that a more continuous supply of the vaccine will help move the process along faster.

“Now that the state is gonna roll out more vaccines to pharmacies, we’ll be able to schedule people and get them in and get our list taken care of. We have a long waitlist for vaccines,” he says.

Fletcher says they currently have a waiting list of anyone eligible wanting a vaccine, this rollout would help them schedule people in.

“Well we started putting people on the list a couple months ago I believe, and so now we’re going to get a predictable supply of vaccines, it makes it much easier to schedule patients and get them in.”

Although, scheduling patients is more difficult than it appears.

“One of the biggest challenges, other than getting the vaccine itself, is timing of the vaccine,” he says.

Because of the state’s shipments to pharmacies, they need to time out when they will be administering each dose before they go bad.

“The shot does go bad after a vial is taken out and punctured, you have six hours to give the vaccine. That’s why scheduling is so important. so by getting a consistent supply, allows us to schedule accurately and we won’t waste any doses,” he says.

Most importantly, it’s about getting the vaccine to the public

“The main thing here is getting a shot in the arm, so if another pharmacy had a need and we had extra. we would go through the correct channels to get them the vaccine,” he says.

For people like Greg Dye, being able to get vaccinated at his local pharmacy instead of a clinic makes the process more comfortable and less rushed.  

“If it’s offered at your local pharmacy and you won’t have to go searching anyways, just like with this being our regular pharmacy, since it’s offered made it really convenient for us,” says Greg.

Fletcher says pharmacies play a key role in vaccinating the public, and he’s glad to be recognized for this through these new shipments.