7 reasons to get the COVID vaccine at an independent pharmacy

One of Carolina Pharmacy’s top priorities is making the COVID-19 vaccine available to as many people as possible. Because they have direct links to the communities they serve, independent pharmacies have an opportunity to reach large groups of people and encourage vaccination. Extra flexibility to talk with patients coupled with strong knowledge of each customer’s care plan means that independent pharmacists are perfectly poised to readily address vaccine concerns or answer questions.

According to Carolina Pharmacy pharmacist Dr. Taylor Fortson, addressing and helping solve vaccine hesitancy is also an important role of the independent pharmacy. She says that one of the benefits of being an independent pharmacy is being part of the larger global pharmaceutical supply chain but still having a focus on true patient-centered care.

“We have frequent touchpoints with customers and are fully familiar with their medications and care,” says Dr. Fortson. “Beyond understanding individual healthcare needs, independent pharmacists are knowledgeable and already deeply experienced with vaccine administration and processes for flu, pneumonia, and other illnesses.”

Read on for 7 reasons that Dr. Fortson says you should opt to get the COVID vaccine at an independent pharmacy:

  1. Pharmacists working in independent pharmacies are some of the most accessible healthcare professionals. They can review available vaccine types and help patients decide which one is best for them.
  2. Independent pharmacies provide trusted advice. Pharmacists will review any concerns a patient has and consult with those skeptical about receiving the vaccine.
  3. Pharmacists go above and beyond for patients. With COVID cases rising, some patients feel uncomfortable coming into the store, so they offer curbside vaccination.
  4. They host vaccine clinics to make vaccination more convenient.
  5. They have shorter walk-in wait times. Chain pharmacy walk-ins frequently wait 30 minutes or longer, but independents serve any COVID vaccination walk-ins as quickly as prescription walk-ins. It only takes around 15 minutes to get vaccinated, and the only wait is the required post-vaccination waiting period.
  6. Independent pharmacies and pharmacy owners can get the vaccine faster because they can communicate directly with county and city officials, instead of relying on a corporate entity.
  7. They usually serve and are accessible to lower-income, minority communities and can help getting those populations vaccinated.

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