“Since the vaccine has been approved, our numbers have only gone through the roof,” said Scott Noir, the association’s chief executive officer.
Pharmacy technicians are also in high demand. They have traditionally performed tasks such as loading syringes and checking people. Recently, only a few states allowed technicians to deliver shots. But the Trump administration in October Guidance issued Authorizing them to administer Kovid-19 vaccines under the supervision of a pharmacist.
While not all vaccine providers are giving shots to technicians, the regulatory change is creating thousands of new vaccines.
Walgreens executive Ms. Shah said that the chain’s hiring and changing the rules meant that Walgreens would have about 45,000 employees who could deliver the Kovid-19 vaccine from about 27,000 pharmacists. “Certainly the number of vaccinations increases, because we can provide the vaccine,” he said.
In December and January, about 30,000 people enrolled in the American Pharmacist Association’s immunization training program for pharmacy technicians. Between 2016 and 2019, a prior iteration of the program enrolled a total of 650, said Kimballi McKiran, an associate professor at Washington State’s College of Pharmacy who designed the training.
While most vaccineers are being hired by larger pharmacy chains, smaller independent pharmacies are also being hired. Brooke Powell, a pharmacy technician at a hospital in Columbus, Ohio, was looking for a part-time job on weekends to join the vaccination effort.
She was negotiating with CVS and Walgreens, but eventually decided to work for an independent store at O’Reilly Family Pharmacy. Ms. Powell liked that the owner was involved in the community, which she thought would help plan vaccination clinics for churches, schools and local companies.
“I’m not sure the chain pharmacy would care that much,” said Ms. Powell.
O’Reilly Pharmacy is hoping to get its first vaccine shipment this week and get people vaccinated soon.