Written by Rachel Bible and Katelyn Allen.
The College of Pharmacy administered both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines throughout the spring semester to Harding faculty, staff and some students.
The College of Pharmacy originally received the Pfizer vaccines, which they administered at an on-campus clinic Jan. 18. Stotts Drug Co. administered Moderna vaccines on campus to health sciences students Jan. 15, according to Dr. Julie Hixson-Wallace, vice president for accreditation and institutional effectiveness and associate provost. Harding later administered the second doses of Moderna to that cohort Feb. 20 and 21.
The University partnered with Unity Hospital and Stotts Pharmacy for vaccine supply and also trained some College of Pharmacy students to administer vaccines and aid on-campus clinics.
Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two shots with a rest period in between the doses. The first shot is the primary dose, and the second is the booster. The Moderna vaccine requires 28 days in between doses, while the Pfizer requires 21 days.
Pfizer announced Feb. 25 they were beginning a trial, testing the potential effectiveness of a third dose. Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson single-shot COVID-19 vaccines Sunday, Feb. 28.
According to Hixson-Wallace, most of the vaccinations they have administered on campus have been Pfizer.
Hixson-Wallace, and others from the College of Pharmacy, have trained students in the program to administer the vaccine. All current second, third and fourth-year pharmacy students were licensed in order to help with vaccinations on campus. Second-year pharmacy student Emma Baird is among the students who volunteered to help administer the vaccine.
“Not only are Harding students administering the vaccine here on campus, but they are helping administer the vaccine throughout the Searcy community,” Baird said.
Baird was licensed by the Arkansas Board of Pharmacy in order to administer the vaccine.
The students who were licensed by the state applied online and participated in special training by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in order to learn how to administer the vaccines. Mary Darden, director of student health services (SHS), aided the organization of the vaccine distribution and the student training.
“The College of Pharmacy worked diligently in preparing to become providers of the COVID vaccine,” Darden said.
The office of SHS and the College of Pharmacy worked together to provide the location and volunteers for the vaccination clinics to take place.
“Organizing and distributing the vaccine on campus has allowed me to experience first hand the team dynamic we are trying to teach here at Harding,” Hixson-Wallace said.
The College of Pharmacy looks forward to providing vaccinations to those outside of the Harding community, according to Hixson-Wallace. However, for now, the vaccinations are only offered to staff, faculty and some students.