Achor answers Covid vaccination questions

Pharmacist Brandon Achor owns and operates Achor Family Pharmacy in Maumelle with his wife Kaley, who is also a pharmacist.

Brandon Achor

A former swimming instructor at the Jess Odom Community Center in Maumelle, he was born and raised here before going to the University of Arkansas, then Pharmacy School at UAMS.

He previously worked at Argenta Drug in North Little Rock and Lackie Drug in Lonoke.

Brandon Achor is the District 3 Representative for the Arkansas Pharmacists Association, also serves as Vice Chairman of the Arkansas Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network and received the Distinguished Young Pharmacists of the Year in 2019.

Achor Family Pharmacy is the only pharmacy in Maumelle to be selected as a site for the Covid-19 vaccine.

Achor was able to answer some questions about the process for the vaccine and a lightly edited transcript follows.

  • How was your pharmacy selected to be a vaccination site?

The initial roll out required vaccination sites to obtain Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Manufacturer-specific training on storage, product handling, direct data reporting to the Arkansas Department of Health, delivery and scheduling logistics, as well as provide a detailed Plan of Action for their respective community. We began working on these in late fall and our pharmacy was approved late December as a primary vaccinator for Maumelle and Pulaski County. 

  • What is the process to get on the list to get the shot?

Currently we direct everyone to the "Covid19 Waitlist" on our website (www.achorpharmacy.com) As our inventory of vaccines allows, we reach out to schedule patients directly from the list based on Health Department established priorities. 

  • When do vaccinations begin?

Vaccinations are currently underway and those who qualify for a vaccine are at the purview of the state government guidelines, they monitor how many individuals from the current lot have been vaccinated or offered to be vaccinated before moving to the next group. 

  • How many doses will you be able to provide?

So far, we have been assigned 100 to 200 vaccines each week to budget the needs of our community, this is assessed weekly and is also at the purview of state authorities to adjust. 

  • How many vaccinations will you be able to do in one day?

The important thing to remember is that this process is nothing like the flu shot, we are required to screen, vaccinate, reschedule for the second follow up dose, and monitor each person for 15 minutes following vaccination all while maintaining safe social distancing. Following these guidelines, we can safely vaccinate 50 to 60 people daily at our Achor Family Pharmacy Vaccination Center (2001 Club Manor Dr, Suite S). When we do our "off site" vaccinations at large facilities such as hospitals or school systems we can vaccinate 100-120 safely. 

  • If you run out of vaccine, what is the process to get more?

Right now, and for the foreseeable future, the health department monitors our progress and needs daily and orders our weekly allotment on our behalf. Our state authority counterparts have been very responsive and adaptive to our community's needs and we are thankful for their continued open line of communication. 

  • Will people have to pay to get the vaccine?

No, there is no charge to the individual receiving the vaccine. Most all insurances are readily paying for the administration fee and for those without insurance there is a federal billing program we have access to. 

  • What would you tell someone who is hesitant about getting the vaccine?

That I understand and I am here to listen. I want people to decide to vaccinate because they feel confident in the support of their healthcare team, not just faith in the product itself. As the most accessible healthcare provider, pharmacists play a unique and intimate role in a patient's trust of the healthcare system and it is my responsibility to honor that level of accessibility and trust by meeting people "where they stand" on their reluctance with a goal of instilling confidence. The current data shows tremendous efficacy with now millions of safely vaccinated persons, but most importantly, it puts people in a position to now protect everyone they come in contact with as opposed to endangering everyone they come in contact with. 

  • Anything else you’d like to add?

Please be patient. The complexities of these two-dosed vaccination regimens and reporting/scheduling of inventory are very nuanced. Every city or county has varying qualified populations and may work through certain groupings faster or slower than others. As we work through timing and budgeting Group 1A's second round of doses on top of opening up 1B and then 1C, etc, there will be hiccups in availability, however the safety and quality of care we deliver will be maintained. 

Achor Family Pharmacy is located at 1900 Club Manor Dr., Suite 101, Maumelle. They can be reached by phone at 501-274-1130 and the hours there are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturday they’re open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.