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Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin requests immediate move to full Phase 1B vaccination

In a letter to DHS on Monday, the Pharmacy Society said the state should take advantage of more pharmacies to distribute COVID-19 vaccines.
Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 6:43 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin (PSW) is calling on DHS to immediately enter Phase 1B of COVID-19 vaccination, which likely includes people 75 and older and frontline essential workers.

In a letter sent to Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm, PSW leadership wrote some pharmacies are already involved in administering the vaccine, but all pharmacies are prepared to distribute doses.

The letter asked DHS to take advantage of more pharmacies and expand distribution to more people, especially in rural communities.

Sarah Sorum, Executive Vice President and CEO of PSW, explained for rural pharmacies, it can be hard to find enough Phase 1A patients to use up all their doses, especially if they receive Pfizer vaccines, which must be used within five days unless stored in extremely cold temperatures.

“If they receive 100 doses in a rural community and have to use it within five days, that’s a big lift to just do 1A-qualified providers,” Sorum said.

The letter from PSW also added the state should focus on “decreasing barriers and pain points” and use an “all hands on deck” approach.

“We’re not wanting anyone to jump the line or anything like that, it’s really about getting more access points available and in order to do that, pharmacies need to be able to scale this to the populations they serve,” said Sarah Sorum, Executive Vice President and CEO of PSW.

Sorum said they are glad to see distribution expanding to include first responders, but she said PSW feels there are enough doses to vaccinate even more people.

DHS has said they are not ready to fully move to Phase 1B because the state does not have enough vaccines.

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