’Hope is on the way’: Woodsprings Pharmacy administers first round of COVID-19 vaccine

Updated: Dec. 16, 2020 at 9:53 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Woodsprings Pharmacy has been serving Jonesboro for over 40 years. But, now amid the COVID-19 pandemic and with a new vaccine, they are working overtime to serve the entire region.

“It is a lot of pressure, but I think we are ready for it,” Director of Clinical Services Rian Snell said.

Woodsprings Pharmacy was one of five pharmacies in the state to receive the first round of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer. They are tasked with administration and distribution to smaller and local hospitals.

“Vaccines is something we handle every day. This one does present some more issues due to its storage requirements being pretty strenuous. But, we are ready for it. That’s why pharmacies were chosen because we are the experts in the supply chain of medications and vaccines,” Snell said.

The pharmacy will deliver to 13 smaller and medium hospitals. The vaccines will be transported in a “cool cube” provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

They are experts who have been doing this for years, especially Pharmacist Tony Bari, owner of Woodsprings Pharmacy.

“Hope is on the way and really I think this is the first step,” Bari said.

He said as both a senior and a health provider, he wanted to get the vaccine. 24 hours post-vaccination he said the only pain he felt was localized soreness at the injection site.

“There are a lot of practitioners that are my age in this city. They are people who have given their lives, dedicated their lives to health care,” Bari said. “Honestly, you keep doing what you know to do and because you feel compelled to do it. You’re called to do it.”

With the mission of caring for their community, Bari said he understands the concerns the general population has about the vaccine.

“I understand at this point about 25 percent of the national population say they do not plan on taking the vaccine due to some fear with that. Hopefully, we can relieve that fear as more and more people get vaccinated and we start to make a dent in the number of cases,” Bari said.

He added there will always be risks, but the COVID-19 vaccine is necessary if we are going to stop the spread.

“But, we need everyone, let me repeat that, we need everyone to consider this vaccination,” Bari said.

There is no hard date on when the general public will be able to receive the vaccine.

As of now, those in long-term facilities are eligible next round of COVID vaccines.

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