Independent pharmacies in Lancaster helping distribute COVID-19 vaccine

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

COLUMBIA, Pa. (WHTM) — Since Hillcrest Pharmacy and Compounding only opened last month they are still offering buy-one-get-one-free deals to get customers inside the doors.

What seems to be more effective though at enticing people to check out the new pharmacy are the doses of the COVID-19 vaccination the pharmacy is handing out.

“I believe our role right now is just to get in as many people as we can and vaccinate as many people as time and man power allows,” Melissa Koehler, the pharmacy’s manager, said.

The independent pharmacy has received 400 doses of the Moderna vaccine which are earmakred for healthcare professionals.

Karen Getz who works in hospice was one to get the shot.

“We’ve been waiting for some of the larger pharmacy chains for the vaccine so we were surprised that this smaller pharmacy in Columbia that is giving this service,” Getz told ABC 27 News.

Small mom and pop shops can apply to hand out the vaccine and you can find a map on the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s website which indicates which pharmacies have the vaccine.

“Independent pharmacies can be extremely helpful because we’re everywhere,” Koehler said. “We have connections to people in group 1A that would otherwise not have a connection to get their vaccines.”

Moving forward state and federal officials believe pharmacies, like Hillcrest Pharmacy and Compound, will play a bigger role in getting everyone in Pennsylvania vaccinated.

“We are so ready to just climb out of the cloud of this pandemic and we’re so grateful we get to be a part of it,” Koehler said.

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