Community Pharmacies with Health Mart, Health Mart Atlas Administer 1 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses


Community Pharmacies with Health Mart, Health Mart Atlas Administer 1 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses

Vaccination activities build on collective success of COVID-19 response over the past year

As of today, 1,370 community pharmacies affiliated with Health Mart® and Health Mart Atlas™ have collectively administered 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses.1 For underserved and rural communities, vaccine access can be a significant challenge in the initiative to reach every American. Community pharmacies play an integral role in leading vaccination administration in vulnerable areas. Health Mart, the nation’s third-largest pharmacy chain by store count, and Health Mart Atlas, a network of more than 7,000 member pharmacies, are comprised of local, independent pharmacies, participating in state and federal vaccination programs, including Health Mart’s Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. These pharmacists, and their staff, continue to be on the front lines of the COVID-19 response in their communities, many of which serve vulnerable populations. And, patients are grateful.

“Our pharmacy is the only outlet here that has the vaccine,” says Shad Williams, a Health Mart pharmacy patient in Adamsville, Tenn. “However, if there were a dozen different options, that’s where we would go. It’s a trust factor thing.” Williams also shared, “Our pharmacist was quick to get on the phone and let us know of its availability. He not only cares about us because we’re his customers, but because he has taken the time to get to know us. Which in my view, is a big deal.”

Activating with the U.S. government

More than 825 Health Mart pharmacies across 46 states are participating in Health Mart’s Federal Retail Pharmacy Program with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Health Mart pharmacy teams are reaching some of the most vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the CDC’s social vulnerability index (SVI).

“I want to acknowledge the work the Health Mart team has done to make this program possible for our profession, but even more for the people of our county, state and Nation,” shared Jerry Duren, PharmD, pharmacist and owner of Duren’s Health Mart Pharmacy in Waynesboro, Tenn. “I know without a doubt it would not have been possible for us to provide this valuable life-saving service alone. It’s a service that is essential to so many of our patients.”

Several factors, including poverty, lack of access to transportation, and housing may weaken a community’s ability to prevent human suffering and financial loss in a disaster. These factors make up a community’s SVI. Duren’s pharmacy team is helping patients in Wayne County, a community with a 2018 overall SVI score of .77. Possible scores range from 0 (lowest vulnerability) to 1 (highest vulnerability).2

Essential support for essential work

Health Mart has facilitated COVID-19 vaccination training for more than 4,250 pharmacy staff members, secured 1,275 digital data loggers needed for proper vaccine storage and activated about 100 new stores a week. Health Mart also provided an online vaccine scheduler, a patient administration documentation tool, and a resource platform to centralize access to vaccine training, tools, and resources, and streamlined required daily activity reporting.

Moving the needle on vaccine hesitancy

Scott’s Health Mart Pharmacy – a Black-owned pharmacy serving Central Georgia since 1985 – is one of many pharmacy teams encouraging community acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines.

Pharmacist Wade Scott said, “The Black community’s distrust toward the vaccine has been built over the course of many years. But our goal is to let people know that this shot is safe and encourage skeptics to consider getting the shot.” To date, the pharmacy has administered 245 COVID-19 vaccinations, tested 1,140 patients for COVID-19 and continues the important public dialogue.

COVID-19 testing impact

In May 2020, select Health Mart pharmacies began COVID-19 test collection in partnership with an approved Department of Health and Human Services testing contractor, eTrueNorth. Participating Health Mart pharmacies offer free COVID-19 testing to patients and to date have collected more than 525,000 tests.

“From vaccinations to point-of-care testing to patient education – community pharmacies continue to be the compassionate and trusted provider you can lean on,” shared Eyad Farah, president Health Mart, Health Mart Atlas and Pharmacy & Healthcare Solutions. “They take the time to listen and care. So naturally, they are the problem solvers for America’s most complex healthcare issues and I’m beyond proud of their outstanding response during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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  • Community Pharmacies with Health Mart, Health Mart Atlas Administer 1 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses
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  • Community Pharmacies with Health Mart, Health Mart Atlas Administer 1 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses

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The sole purpose of the Gutenberg editor is to provide an alternative to the current open text editor, not to mention the difficult-to-remember shortcodes, with an agile and visual user interface (UI). So, unlike the current WordPress editor, you don’t have to:

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Community Pharmacies with Health Mart, Health Mart Atlas Administer 1 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses

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The sole purpose of the Gutenberg editor is to provide an alternative to the current open text editor, not to mention the difficult-to-remember shortcodes, with an agile and visual user interface (UI).
So, unlike the current WordPress editor, you don’t have to:

In short, Gutenberg doesn’t change how WordPress functions. It does, however, change the way website owners (or creators) interact with it. Instead of a whole lot of shortcodes and meta boxes, you will be using simple blocks.

Community Pharmacies with Health Mart, Health Mart Atlas Administer 1 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses
The IDAI Immunization Task Force Sets Priorities for Covid-19 Vaccine Emergency Use
  • The emergency use authorization is only granted for limited use during the pandemic, not as a product distribution approval
  • Data on quality, both non-clinical and clinical, as well as the public health risks are the main considerations

Emergency use authorization (EUA) for a Covid-19 vaccine is one of the government’s efforts to stop the Covid-19 transmission chain. By prioritizing the safety, efficacy and quality of a Covid-19 vaccine, EUA can accelerate the pandemic mitigation. The implementation of these strategic policies and breakthrough steps are also the focus of the Covid-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Committee (KPCPEN) which is also supported by the Indonesian Pediatrician Association (IDAI) Immunization Task Force.

Prof. Dr. dr. Cissy Rachiana Sudjana Prawira-Kartasasmita, Professor at the Padjajaran University School of Medicine, says, “Normally, new vaccine development takes a significant amount of time. However, the WHO has allowed efforts to accelerate Covid-19 vaccine development due to the urgent need under the pandemic.”

According to Prof. Prawira-Kartasasmita, who also serves as Chair of the Indonesian Pediatrician Association (IDAI) Immunization Task Force, the government has made every effort to stop the Covid-19 transmission chain. However, there are still many in the public who do not comply with health protocols which results in a soaring transmission rate. That is why we need a breakthrough to reduce virus transmission namely by means of a vaccine.

EUA Is Only Granted During The Pandemic, Not A Product Distribution Approval

One effort to expedite Covid-19 mitigation that is allowed is granting the Emergency Use Permit or EUA, as “The EUA is granted by regulatory bodies of each country. In Indonesia, EUA is under the authority of the National Agency of Drug and Food Monitoring (Badan Pengawas Obat dan Makanan/Badan POM). For the record, EUA is only granted for limited use during the pandemic, not as a product distribution approval. Of course, EUA also adheres to safety, efficacy and quality aspects,” explained Prof. Prawira-Kartasasmita.

She adds that the EUA weighs the benefit-to-risk ratio. On the other hand, the EUA provision involves all data of quality, both non-clinical and clinical, as well as the public health risks posed by the disease. Clinical trial data is very much needed to ensure the vaccine safety, efficacy as well as quality.

“According to the WHO, EUA for a vaccine is granted if at least 50% of volunteers have been fully vaccinated. Their health is monitored continuously for three months after their last injection. This also applies to (imported vaccines),” said Prof. (Prawira-Kartasasmita).

Previously, the Interim Deputy I at Badan POM Togi Hutadjulu explained that an EUA would be granted based on the consideration that the benefits outweigh the risks. The process of evaluating the safety and efficacy of a vaccine candidate involves the National Committee Team for Drug Evaluation (Tim Komite Nasional Penilai Obat), consisting of pharmacologists, clinicians, and experts in various fields. Badan POM would only be able to grant an EUA if a vaccine has met the safety, efficacy and quality requirements based on the evaluation process.

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