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US drugstores squeezed by vaccine demand, staff shortages

The surge in customers seeking vaccines and the shortage of staff have put pressure on drugstores across the United States, disrupted workers and temporarily closed pharmacies. Drugstores are usually busy with flu shots and other vaccines, but pharmacists are now vaccinated with more and more vaccines. Shot propulsion is expected to intensify as President Joe Biden urges vaccinated Americans to take booster shots to fight new variants of Omicron. The White House said Thursday that more than two-thirds of COVID-19 vaccinations are being given at local pharmacies. -19, the pharmacist may be able to diagnose the infection and prescribe tablets to the customer. Teresator, an independent pharmacist whose demand for the COVID-19 vaccine has quadrupled since the summer at stores in Sebastian, Florida, said: Pharmacists say demand for the COVID-19 vaccine began to pick up in the summer as the delta mutant spread rapidly. The increased eligibility of vaccines, including booster shots and children, has stimulated it ever since. In addition to its workload and routine prescribing, many drugstores also require pharmacists to advise patients more generally about their health and chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Justin Wilson, who owns three independent pharmacies in Oklahoma, says the pharmacies also respond to calls from customers asking questions about vaccines and COVID-19 testing. “We’re all working harder than before, but we’re doing everything we can to care for people,” Wilson said. He added that he didn’t have to limit the time. .Tolle said he was fortunate to be able to hire a pharmacy resident shortly before the Delta surge arrived. New employees were supposed to focus primarily on diabetes programs, but were primarily driven by vaccine obligations. According to Toll, Bay Street Pharmacy is currently vaccinated with about 80 COVID-19 vaccines per day from 20 vaccines before the delta wave. “God’s timing worked for me,” she said. “Without that additional person here, we wouldn’t have been able to get through.” Others weren’t so lucky. The CVS Health Store on the northeastern side of Indianapolis closed its pharmacy in the middle of Thursday afternoon due to staffing issues. A sign taped to the metal gate above the counter of the closed pharmacy told the customer that the pharmacy would start closing for about 30 minutes in the afternoon so that the pharmacist could take a lunch break. Such temporary closures have flowed into pockets across the country. The pandemic has become even more serious in recent months, according to Ann Burns, vice president of the American Pharmacists Association. According to Burns, many pharmacies are already relatively thinly staffed towards a pandemic, leaving a wave of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians after the virus struck. “Individuals who have been working on this since March 2020 have a lot of stress and burnout,” she said. CVS Health spokesman TJ Crawford said he couldn’t comment on the status of one store. But he said his company “continues to manage labor shortages that are not unique to CVS Health.” Rival drugstore chain Walgreens has also adjusted pharmacy opening hours “in a limited number of stores,” spokesman Fraser Engerman said. Both companies have adopted it. CVS Health says it has hired 23,000 employees since the push launched in September. About half of them were pharmacy technicians who could deliver the vaccine. Burns and Thor are worried about adding additional responsibilities such as diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 as companies scramble to hire and retain staff. The time required for diagnosis and prescription will be refunded. It needs to be clarified, especially if the incidents surge again and drugstores need to add more workers to help. “We want to be able to support our community,” she said. “I don’t know how pharmacies manage it.” Sherri Brown, a city official in Omaha, Nebraska, was looking for a vaccine booster dose, but two nearby pharmacies had no reservations and three. I couldn’t reserve my eyes. I have the brand she wanted. She was shot at a county-run clinic on Friday. “I just wanted to protect myself,” said Brown, who suffered from a two-week cough, headache, and fatigue when he was infected with the virus in January before being vaccinated. .. “I think it’s encouraging to see people take this more seriously.” The Associated Press’s Department of Health Sciences is supported by the Science Education Department of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.

The surge in customers seeking vaccines and the shortage of staff are putting pressure on drugstores across the United States, leading to worker confusion and temporary pharmacy closures.

Drugstores are usually busy with influenza vaccinations and other vaccines during this time, but now pharmacists are vaccinated with more and more COVID-19 and are testing for coronavirus.

Shot propulsion is expected to intensify as President Joe Biden urges vaccinated Americans to take booster shots to fight the emerging Omicron variants. The White House said Thursday that more than two COVID-19 vaccinations were given at local pharmacies every three times.

And pharmacists are worried that another job may soon be added to the to-do list. If regulators approve antivirals from pharmaceutical companies Merck and Pfizer to treat COVID-19, pharmacists may be able to diagnose the infection and prescribe the drug to the customer.

Teresator, an independent pharmacist whose demand for the COVID-19 vaccine has quadrupled since the summer at stores in Sebastian, Florida, said:

Pharmacists say demand for the COVID-19 vaccine began to pick up in the summer as the delta mutant spread rapidly. The increased eligibility of vaccines, including booster shots and children, has stimulated it ever since.

In addition to its workload and routine prescribing, many drugstores require pharmacists to more commonly counsel on patient health and chronic illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Justin Wilson, who owns three independent pharmacies in Oklahoma, says the pharmacies also respond to calls from customers asking questions about vaccines and COVID-19 testing.

“We’re all working harder than before, but we’re doing everything we can to care for people,” Wilson said. He added that he didn’t have to limit. ..

Thor said he was fortunate to be able to hire a pharmacy resident shortly before the arrival of Delta Surge. New employees were supposed to focus primarily on diabetes programs, but were primarily driven by vaccine obligations.

According to Toll, Bay Street Pharmacy is currently vaccinated with about 80 COVID-19 vaccines per day from 20 vaccines before the delta wave.

“God’s timing worked for me,” she said. “Without that additional person here, we wouldn’t have been able to get through.”

Others weren’t so lucky. The CVS Health Store on the northeastern side of Indianapolis closed its pharmacy in the middle of Thursday afternoon due to staffing issues. A taped sign on the metal gate above the closed pharmacy counter also told customers that the pharmacy would start closing for about 30 minutes in the afternoon so that pharmacists could take a lunch break.

Ann Burns, vice president of the American Pharmacists Association, said such temporary closures have declined nationwide throughout the pandemic and have flowed into pockets, but have become even more serious in recent months. Stated.

All pharmacies require a minimum of personnel to operate safely and may need to be temporarily closed if they fall below those levels.

According to Burns, many pharmacies are already relatively thinly staffed towards a pandemic, leaving a wave of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians after the virus struck.

“Individuals who have been working on this since March 2020 have a lot of stress and burnout,” she said.

CVS Health spokesman TJ Crawford said he couldn’t comment on the status of one store. But he said his company “continues to manage overcoming labor shortages that are not unique to CVS Health.”

Rival drugstore chain Walgreens has also adjusted pharmacy hours “in a limited number of stores,” spokesman Fraser Engerman said.

Both companies have adopted it. CVS Health says it has hired 23,000 employees since the push launched in September. About half of them were pharmacy technicians who could deliver the vaccine.

Burns and Tolle are worried about adding more responsibilities, such as the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19, as companies scramble to hire and retain staff.

Tolle said it is not yet clear how pharmacists will be reimbursed for the time it takes to diagnose and prescribe. It needs to be clarified, especially if the number of cases surges again and drugstores need to add more workers to help.

“We want to be able to help our community,” she said. “I don’t know how the pharmacy manages it.”

Sheri Brown, a city official in Omaha, Nebraska, was looking for a vaccine booster dose, but two nearby pharmacies had no reservations and the third didn’t have the brand she wanted. She was shot at a county-run clinic on Friday.

“I just wanted to protect myself,” said Brown, who suffered from a two-week cough, headache, and malaise when he was infected with the virus in January, before he was vaccinated. “I think it’s encouraging to see people take this more seriously.”

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The Associated Press’s Department of Health Sciences is supported by the Science Education Department of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.

US drugstores squeezed by vaccine demand, staff shortages Source link US drugstores squeezed by vaccine demand, staff shortages

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