ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Pharmacists in New York say they are ready to administer COVID-19 vaccines once they become available to the general public. Marra’s Pharmacy in Cohoes will be one of the places where people can get vaccinated.
“I applied almost 45 days ago to become a vaccine dispensing site. At Marra’s pharmacy,” explained Assemblyman and pharmacist John McDonald. “Within five days, we had a response. We have been getting all the updates, so we are very much aware of what our responsibilities are going to be. We’re realizing that in the next three weeks—maybe six weeks—the general population at large will be able to start scheduling appointments at their pharmacy of choice.”
According to McDonald, this past summer, the New York State Legislature passed a law allowing pharmacists to administer COVID-19 vaccines. The governor recently passed an executive order speeding up the time in which the law went into effect.
“That basically says: ‘Pharmacists, you can, as of right now, administer COVID-19 vaccines.’ And pharmacists’ interns—which are final year pharmacy students—as well,” said McDonald.
The pharmacies will be follow state guidelines as to who is able to receive the vaccine, and when. Tom D’Angelo, President of the Pharmacist Society of State of New York said pharmacies are essential.
“They are the lifeblood of the communities. The people in those communities trust them, they respect them, and they are also the localized health care provider,” stated D’Angelo.
Because New York pharmacies are already allowed to give some vaccinations, such as the flu shot, D’Angelo said they are up for this new endeavor.
“The retail pharmacies are ready. The community pharmacies are ready. And when the supply becomes available for everybody, we will be able to take it on.”