Local pharmacies are administering COVID-19 vaccines across Iowa

Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 7:47 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Some counties are using mass clinics to vaccinate people, but many counties are utilizing local pharmacies to put the COVID-19 vaccine in arms.

This is happening because each county has its own plan or process to administer COVID-19 doses. The Towncrest Pharmacy, which is located in Iowa City, has had to create an assembly line-like system to vaccinate 100 people daily.

Randy McDonough, who is the co-owner of the pharmacy, said it’s great to play a part in getting people vaccinated.

It’s been hard on the patients, it’s been hard on the health care providers, it’s just been hard on the whole system and I think we’re all ready to get to normalcy as fast we possibly can,” he said. “To know that we’re playing a part on that is a tremendous feeling. There’s no doubt about it.”

His pharmacy has had to create a new process for vaccinating different groups of people every 15 minutes.

“It’s like clockwork,” McDonough said. “To me, It’s all about the planning, the systemizing of the process and making sure you follow it; because if there’s anything that breaks down, you can kinda look within the process at what did go down and make it better the next time.”

Towncrest currently only administers the Moderna vaccine, but it hopes to receive the Pfizer vaccine soon. The pharmacy ordered an ultra-cold freezer to store the Pfizer vaccine, which costs around $6,000.

Mike Deninger, who is the other co-owner of Towncrest Pharmacy, said they made the investment in the freezer, even though the vaccine is free because they want to speed up the vaccination process.

“Yes, we’re business owners and we’re here to make money, but we’re also here to help,” he said. “And so in this particular case, if we can actually aid in the effort to get people immunized, as president Biden says shots in arms, then we’re going to do what we can to do that.”

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