(CBSDFW.COM) – As anticipation about the vaccine builds, many are wondering when they’ll be able to receive it right from their local pharmacy.
Carter High, a pharmacist and co-owner of Best Value Pharmacies, said one of the roadblocks to that goal will be the Pfizer vaccine, which needs to be frozen at sub-Antarctica temperatures.
“Most independent pharmacies don’t have the capability or the equipment to house those, because those are very expensive refrigeration units on that, so we can’t really afford to get those on a regular basis,” he said.
The large chain pharmacies – and networks that represent independent pharmacies – will receive the vaccine through a federal allocation program. That will cover approximately 60% of pharmacies in the U.S.
Then a team called the COVID-19 Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel will determine where in Texas it goes and when. Carter said the Pfizer vaccine will most likely be used in phase 1, for healthcare workers and nursing home residents – large concentrations of people in one place.
“The inner-city stuff is going to be relatively easy in terms of logistics and getting the vaccine to them,” he said.
And once the vaccine is available to the general population, the chain pharmacies say they’ll be able to disperse it widely. CVS, for example, says 20 to 25 million doses a month. For Carter’s patients who think they’re getting the vaccine next week, this is what he tells them.
“Time-wise, patients from the general population that are walking into a community pharmacy need to understand that they probably won’t be able to receive that vaccine or have access to it until February/March. If it gets there sooner, I’ll be all on board with it,” he said.
MORE FROM CBSDFW