Owner confident of state and federal approvals
If Heidi Kantor Snyder has her way, Drug World will be a source for COVID-19 vaccines.
Snyder, who has owned the Cold Spring pharmacy since 2002, said as part of the Good Neighbor group, a cooperative of more than 4,000 independent pharmacies nationwide, Drug World should be able to receive the vaccines now being distributed through the federal government.
AmerisourceBergen, a health care company that connects drug manufacturers with health care systems, physicians, clinics and pharmacies, and is affiliated with Good Neighbor, has helped independent pharmacies gain access to the vaccine distribution program administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Snyder said.
In addition to the CDC, Drug World is seeking approval from the state Department of Health and the state Immunization Information System.
Snyder said she is ready to start vaccinating. Drug World has freezer space that’s “empty and waiting,” she said, but “vaccines in our freezer won’t solve the problem; we need to get them into the arms of eligible people. I will add staff if needed.” She said she has reached out to health care professionals who could help.
Which vaccines Drug World would receive, and who will be eligible to receive them and in what order, will be determined by the CDC and state.
“Pfizer is the only vaccine on the market, with Moderna hopefully coming on board this week,” she said. “I don’t think we’ll get to choose, but we’re ready to receive whatever we get and to begin vaccinating promptly.”
Snyder said she has been working on the approval process since October and has “put many hours each week into webinars, educational papers, surveys, training, meetings and strategic thinking.”
Snyder filed her applications in November but has received no indication when she might get the green light. “My understanding is as more vaccines come to market and manufacturing increases, our turn will come,” she said.
Snyder is also working to have Drug World designated a Limited Service Laboratory, which would enable the pharmacy to test for COVID-19 on-site.