Providing Vaccination Support
Focus: COVID-19 Vaccination
As of early March, 2021, members of the UC School of Pharmacy have had a hand in the distribution of over 36,000 doses of covid vaccine.
West Virginia’s vaccination rates are some of the highest in the country, and locally, UC School of Pharmacy students have been a critical resource for the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, the Kanawha County School Board (K-12 instructors), Cabin Creek Health Systems and Family Care Heath Centers. Many students have also worked as interns and volunteers to assist local pharmacy efforts to vaccinate patients in long term care facilities.
A recent event held at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center, for instance, vaccinated 2,300 people. An earlier event saw over 5,000 people receiving their vaccines. Vaccination events have also been held at local schools and community clinics.
Michelle Knight, Executive Director of Enrollment & Admissions and Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice, explained that UC SOP students are certified to immunize starting in their first year. “Almost the entire P1 class has volunteered for at least one (but often many) vaccination events for Kanawha County Schools and the Kanawha-Charelston Health Department.”
“Our students undergo the APhA Immunization Training Certificate Course during their P1 year, so all are trained to vaccinate under pharmacist supervision,” further explained Gannet Monk, Associate Professor and Executive Director of Professional Affairs at the School of Pharmacy. “Once our students attend a COVID vaccination event and are supervised performing a vaccination, they are awarded a “COVID trained” pin. Our faculty and students have really taken their role seriously in helping patients specifically, and helping to end the COVID-19 pandemic in general. We even had one of our students shown vaccinating in a NY Times article.”
At many of the events, Pharmacy students have worked with the University’s Physician Assistant Program students, sharing experiences and professional missions.
Kanawha County itself has offered its praise, tweeting “We’ve been honored to have the future of medicine from @UCWV Pharmacy School and Physician Assistant program on the frontlines. Thank you for all your dedication!”
As of March 4, UC has had 96 different student pharmacists, 13 different faculty supervisors and one staff assistant assist at one of at least 32 different vaccination events.— Gannet Monk, Pharm.D.