The Faculty of Pharmacy assists with vaccinations, registrations, and misinformation

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Pharmacy Faculty pharmacists Dr Makoni and Ms Magadza help Rhodes employees register on the EVDS system.
Pharmacy Faculty pharmacists Dr Makoni and Ms Magadza help Rhodes employees register on the EVDS system.

Earlier this month, the final year Pharmacy students were vaccinated against COVID-19 at the Faculty of Pharmacy, followed by approximately 200 second and third year BPharm students. Pharmacy students were included in the first cohort eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines, as they perform Work Integrated/Based Learning in clinical platforms as an essential component of their curricula.

Having extra vaccines left over, the Faculty put a call out to the local community, welcoming local business owners and self-employed people who were eligible to get the vaccine. Pick n Pay staff members such as packers and tellers who interact with hundreds of people daily were also vaccinated, as well as staff members from the SPCA, wood delivery services, hairdressers, pool services, car dealers and many others. A total of 70 community members were vaccinated this way.

“From our hands-on experience running the temporary outreach vaccination site at the Faculty, we noted that some individuals were a bit uncertain about how to register on the Electronic Vaccine Data System (EVDS),” said Rhodes University Pharmacy Lecturer Natalie Paterson, who now assists at the Rhodes University Gavin Relly PGV vaccination site. “There were also some who expressed various concerns about the vaccine.”

In response, various Faculty staff members stationed themselves around campus (the Steve Biko building, outside the Kaif and the Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences foyer) to assist Rhodes University employees with registration and dispel misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine. More than 50 employees took advantage of this initiative.

The Faculty of Pharmacy is very grateful to Sr Patricia Baart, who supported their in-house vaccinators, Sr Repinz and Sr Van Dyk.

“We are looking forward to administering the second Pfizer jab to our Pharmacy students in a few weeks,” Paterson said.