Community Feature Clearwater Pharmacy Provides COVID-19 Testing and Vaccinations
Rural pharmacies across the country, including the Clearwater Pharmacy located in downtown Clearwater, Kan., are playing an important role in the fight against COVID-19. Clearwater Pharmacy began offering testing on November 25, 2020, and administered its first vaccine a few months later on February 25 – all within a year of the first positive case reported in Kansas.
“I chose pharmacy as a career to serve my community,” said Nancy Bradfield, pharmacist and owner of Clearwater Pharmacy. “I feel it is my duty and honor to provide this service to the community that has entrusted me with their care.”
True to that pledge, to date, they’ve performed 159 tests and provided more than 500 vaccines. The two-dose Moderna and single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines are currently available at the Clearwater Pharmacy free of charge to patients 18 and older – even those without insurance.
Several SKT employees have been vaccinated at Clearwater Pharmacy. Customer Service Manager Jill McMillan (pictured with Pharmacist Nancy Bradfield, top) and Marketing Manager Megan Harper (pictured with Certified Technician Sharalyn Hamm, below) are among those who recently received their second doses.
“We are so fortunate to have a pharmacy right here in town,” Harper said. “I’ve heard stories about long lines at other vaccination sites, but my experience at the Clearwater Pharmacy couldn’t have been better. I was in and out in less than 20 minutes both times. I also hate needles, but the person administering the shot made it virtually painless.”
Community Feature: Clearwater Pharmacy Testing
Clearwater Pharmacy offers COVID-19 rapid results (approximately one hour) antigen tests, as well as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. Samples are collected through a nasal swab. The antigen test detects specific proteins on the surface of the coronavirus, while the PCR test detects genetic material from the coronavirus. Although antigen tests provide faster results, they do have a higher chance of missing an active infection; but generally speaking, if either test comes back positive, it is almost certain that the individual is indeed infected.
For the Clearwater Pharmacy to be able to offer testing, it was necessary to set up a separate space (lab area) to avoid exposure for other patients and the pharmacy team. Applicable laboratory regulations are followed, and staff undergo necessary sanitization before returning to the pharmacy after specimen collection – carefully limiting exposure risks. Once a sample is collected, it is analyzed onsite, and the results reported to the patient in approximately one hour for either test. The results are also sent to the patient’s primary care provider. In addition, required reporting is submitted to the state. While Clearwater Pharmacy does not bill insurance for testing at this time, they do provide the necessary receipts for patients to submit to their insurance. For more information about testing, email Bradfield.
Clearwater Pharmacy Team (l to r): Pharmacist & Owner Nancy Bradfield, Certified Technician Danetta Durant, Pharmacist Holly Hoyt, and Certified Technician Raegen Oelkers; Certified Technician Sharalyn Hamm not pictured.
Community Feature: Clearwater Pharmacy Vaccines
Clearwater Pharmacy applied, and was chosen initially, as one of just 84 stores within the three states of Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma, to receive their vaccines from the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (CPESN). It took months of preparation to meet the mandated processes, training, and equipment requirements to even be eligible. In addition, it took Bradfield many hours of webinars and Zoom meetings in the evenings and weekends for the past three-plus months to put her pharmacy into position to receive the vaccine.
The Moderna brand vaccine (two shots separated by four weeks), which the Clearwater Pharmacy first received, has 10 vials of the vaccine per box. Each vial has a guaranteed 10 doses but may contain 11 or 12. Once a dose is withdrawn from the vial, the entire vial must be used within six hours – without exception or wastage. This is one of the requirements of the pharmacy’s agreement with CPESN. The expectation is that there is to be zero wasting of the product – period!
Clearwater Pharmacy learned that beginning the second week of April, they would also be receiving supplies of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is a single vaccination. After a short hiatus with the J&J vaccine, both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are now available at the Clearwater Pharmacy. While the COVID-19 vaccines are supplied free of charge by the federal government, the pharmacy is allowed to bill insurance for an administration fee to help defer the cost the pharmacy incurs aside from the actual vaccine.
Once they receive their vaccination, patients are required to remain onsite for at least 15 minutes to be observed for severe allergic reaction. This must also be accomplished while maintaining social distancing requirements – and during the time the pharmacy is conducting normal business. Bradfield shares, “For this reason, it is like orchestrating a symphony ‘behind the scenes’ just to assure the necessary scheduling requirements are met – all the while making sure our patients meet the current phase guidelines of Sedgwick County.”
Clearwater Pharmacy started administering the second Moderna vaccinations on March 25 and Bradfield explains, “So, meshing those appointments with the demand for patients eligible for new phases is a challenge. I could not have done this without the assistance of my stellar team – Danetta, full-time certified technician, who has taken charge of the scheduling and billing; Holly, my relief pharmacist who steps in (at a moment’s notice most times) to vaccinate or cover for me to do what is necessary behind the scenes; and Sharalyn, a part-time technician who is also a certified vaccinator.”
SKT is proud to serve Clearwater Pharmacy by providing their fiber internet, business phone, and security services. As a small-town, independent pharmacy, Clearwater Pharmacy serves the community with excellence by providing free delivery service in town, medication synchronization, medication therapy management, flu shots, and immunizations. And finally, Clearwater Pharmacy is the home of “Rosie the Rabbiter,” a 13-lb. Flemish Giant rabbit, which is a registered therapy rabbit. Rosie has a pen at the store and comes to work with Bradfield who shares, “It’s heartwarming to see how people react to her. She is a huge rabbit, but she is very laid back and welcoming.” She’s the perfect mascot for Clearwater Pharmacy!
To learn more about the Clearwater Pharmacy, their COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, or any updates, see their Facebook Page. To complete an online consent form to receive a vaccination, go to their website; the pharmacy will then reach out to schedule an appointment. Printed consent forms are also available to pick up at the Clearwater Pharmacy during business hours.
130 E. Ross St., Suite 111
Clearwater, KS 67026
Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.