The UW-Madison Pharmacy school designed courses to train younger students how to vaccinate to accelerate COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts.
The School of Pharmacy class, Comprehensive Immunization Delivery — which includes training on vaccine administration — is now available for first-year PharmD students. This course, which will end the first week in March, was initially designed for second-year students to become pharmacy interns after their second year of pharmacy school.
According to a UW-Madison release, 69 first-year PharmD students signed up for the course in order to help with the distribution.
“I am lucky to be one of many first-year students taking the vaccination training early, thanks to the school’s commitment to involve more students in immunization efforts,” PharmD student Maria Golovkina said in the release. “It’s encouraging to see the expansion of pharmacy student immunizers, and I’m hopeful that we will be valuable contributors in helping Wisconsin recover from this historic public health event.”
After she completes the training, Golovkina plans to volunteer with Operation Immunization — an effort started by UW-Madison PharmD students Maggie Hoernke and Nikki Batterman. The organization has worked to connect 171 student volunteers to 12 clinics in Wisconsin to help execute vaccine distribution.
“Right now, this is a huge public health priority, and we really need all hands on deck,” Hoernke said.
The eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine in Wisconsin just expanded on March 1 to include education and childcare staff, individuals enrolled in long-term Medicaid programs, some essential workers who are public-facing, non-frontline essential health care workers and congregate living facility staff and residents.
Previously, the vaccine was only available to frontline healthcare workers, direct caregivers, nursing or long-term care facility residents, fire, police and corrections faculty, and adults aged 65 or older.