(Letter to the Editor by Dr. Kimberly Sasser Croley, Clinical Pharmacist at Laurel Senior Living Communities)
All Kentuckians have a part to play in “flattening the curve” of the coronavirus outbreak.
Community pharmacists, like all healthcare workers, are first responders to the COVID-19 pandemic, working daily to provide quality, accessible and individualized care.
Community pharmacists work in all facets of healthcare: hospital, independent and chain pharmacies and for myself and my partner, Dr. Kyle Harris, long-term care.
On April 8 the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services issued guidance authorizing pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests. Last week, Gov. Beshear signed an executive order doing the same. This will allow more Kentuckians to be tested, and help the Commonwealth move past the pandemic.
When a COVID-19 vaccine is developed and approved, we will mobilize quickly to administer the immunization to community members across the Commonwealth. Kentucky’s protocols already allow pharmacists to administer any FDA-approved vaccination to patients age 9 and older. Because of our elected officials’ forethought, Kentuckians will be able to receive the lifesaving vaccination more quickly.
Despite the challenges and uncertainty COVID-19 has brought, community pharmacists are still here to serve you. You have heard that our elders are the most at-risk population, and that is true, especially since many of them have multiple co-morbid diseases.
Everything you do at home and in the community helps us minimize their risk by keeping the community at large healthy. Pharmacists are doing everything we can to combat this pandemic, and together, I’m confident we will overcome this public health crisis.