As COVID-19 vaccinations increase nationally, Idaho State University students are getting extra practice giving shots in the Treasure Valley and even as far as Alaska.
Using immunization trainings that begin their first week of pharmacy school, 20 ISU student pharmacists in the Treasure Valley and 20 elsewhere have already started administering vaccines, according to a press release. In the Treasure Valley, students are pitching in at St. Alphonsus facilities. Several more are working at centers in Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls.
“The only challenge we are facing now is the availability of vaccine,” said Dr. Kevin Cleveland, ISU’s assistant dean and director of the Office of Experiential Education. “Our students are experienced. We’re ready to go out into community pharmacies or other locations and administer vaccines. That’s going to be where we can help the most, by having students available to give shots, when we have them.”
Soon, student pharmacists will also assist providers at St. Luke’s hospitals and facilities in the Treasure Valley, along with locations in Pocatello. In the next few days, student pharmacists will help administer COVID-19 vaccines at Albertsons locations around Idaho as well.
In Fall 2020, Idaho State University student pharmacists and nurses delivered flu vaccinations to nearly 1,000 people at two drive up clinics in Meridian and Pocatello. With the support of the Idaho Immunization Coalition, Albertsons, St. Alphonsus and others, they’ve been preparing to help administer the COVID-19 vaccine since then.