Independent Ohio Pharmacies Want to Help with the COVID-19 Vaccine

Feb 22, 2021

While large retail chain pharmacies are quickly receiving COVID-19 vaccines, many smaller, independent pharmacies, like our own, have not received them. Barry Klein, president and owner at Klein’s Pharmacy, wrote to Gov. Mike DeWine urging him to let independent pharmacies do their part in the public health campaign to help end the pandemic.

In a recent news conference, DeWine announced the state of Ohio is expected to receive 223,025 first doses of vaccines that will be sent to chain affiliated stores, like CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid. DeWine did not indicate if more locally owned pharmacies will receive the vaccines.

Ernest Boyd, executive director of the Ohio Pharmacists Association, shared that just 20 of the 500 independent pharmacies in Ohio are currently administering the vaccine. However, the situation is much different in the bordering state of West Virginia, where 54% of the state’s pharmacies are not chain affiliated. According to Bloomberg's COVID-19 vaccine tracker, 12.7% of West Virginia’s 1.8 million residents received at least one shot compared with 9.9% of Ohio’s 11.7 million residents.

On behalf of our community, we at Klein’s Pharmacy ask: why can’t Ohio follow West Virginia's strategy to deploy vaccines and include independent retailers in the vaccination effort? The state of West Virginia has developed a vaccination model that should be easily replicated across the country.

It is our goal to serve our community and meet their healthcare needs. We urge Gov. DeWine and the state of Ohio to let us do just that.

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