A Carrollwood pharmacy added mobile in-home COVID-19 vaccinations to its service and the option comes at a time when doctors say that protective layer is more crucial than ever.
DeliveRxd Pharmacy in Carrollwood will do house calls for mobile vaccination in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County announced Wednesday.
"So we knew that with the coming school year, it was going to be a really big push to get our children vaccinated," said pharmacist William Parker, who is the owner of DeliveRxd Pharmacy.
Parker said they partnered with the Hillsborough County and Pinellas County health departments for the mobile vaccination program.
"I think there's probably still a small subset of people who were on the fence and maybe have decided recently that they want to move forward with the vaccine and don't have good access," said Parker.
It’s not just for homebound residents or people who lack transportation. Any Hillsborough or Pinellas resident can sign up for themselves or their eligible children.
"We want to make sure that we're making it easy for people," said Kevin Watler, a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County. "No one is going to come at the end of the day and say, ‘Well, it wasn't an option for me. It wasn't available for me.’ That's just not going to be an argument out there."
Watler said vaccination rates really slowed down and that’s discouraging.
"It's going to take us out of this pandemic, and we're seeing a lot of people resisting it or not taking it or just not ready for it," said Watler.
Doctors said any help is worth it.
"If we can find those trusted partners and get them to be on board, I think we have a great opportunity, really with this mobile unit to overcome much of that hesitancy," said Dr. Kevin Sneed, a dean at USF Health Dean and professor in the College of Pharmacy.
Dr. Sneed said misinformation on social media is still a problem, and unvaccinated people ages 20 to 49 are the ones in the hospital.
"We need to help make sure people are understanding of that fact that we're not dealing even with the COVID that we had 18 months ago," said Sneed. "So to get vaccinated and have an opportunity of being vaccinated and whatever form and fashion it comes to you is critical right now."
The DeliveRxd Pharmacy owner said he hopes to give out hundreds more vaccines with this new option and save someone’s life.
"Sure, there's a lot of need in the community for that. So we're willing to step up and go out to the community," said Parker.
DeliveRxd Pharmacy already does free medication delivery in Tampa Bay and held mobile vaccination drives around Central Florida and South Florida earlier this year.
The service will be available Monday through Friday during the day and late afternoon, but the pharmacists will be flexible to accommodate different schedule needs.