Magnolia Pharmacy aims to open volunteer-run COVID-19 vaccine clinic Jan. 22

The independent pharmacy went through 500 doses of the Moderna vaccine in nine days. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)
The independent pharmacy went through 500 doses of the Moderna vaccine in nine days. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)

The independent pharmacy went through 500 doses of the Moderna vaccine in nine days. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)

Magnolia Pharmacy is aiming open a volunteer-run COVID-19 vaccine clinic Jan. 22, pending the arrival of more vaccines, owner Steve Hoffart said.

The clinic would be located in the empty office behind Magnolia Pharmacy—located at 18320 FM 1488—at the former Vision Source. If everything goes according to plan, Hoffart said, the clinic could administer 200-400 doses per day to anyone who falls into the qualifications set by the state, regardless of their county of residency.

“I think we can pull it off. The key is getting the vaccine,” he said.

Hoffart said he has rounded up 140 volunteers, including students and emergency services personnel, as well as a few paid staff members to run the clinic, which would require about 20 persons at a time to run.

“Everyone’s been so gracious. Everyone wants to help,” he said.

Hoffart said his goal is to vaccinate patients as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible by minimizing wait times and limiting congregation. The empty office has five patient rooms that could be used to administer the vaccine as well as a hallway where patients can be observed after they are vaccinated.

“I want people to walk in this door, check in, be in a room in five minutes, be out the room in five minutes, be in the hallway 15 minutes and be out the door,” he said.

Hoffart also has visions to scale up even further. The county has announced plans to open five mega-sites for vaccinations in the county once supply ramps up, and although the locations of these sites are still in the works, Hoffart said he hopes the pharmacy will become the county’s west side location.

The pharmacy has already vaccinated for COVID-19 on a smaller scale. In early December, Magnolia Pharmacy was approved by the state as a COVID-19 vaccine administration site, and by Dec. 28, it had received 500 doses of the Moderna vaccine.

The pharmacy opened its online portal to schedule vaccinations. Within eight hours, all 500 slots were booked, Hoffart said, and within nine working days, the pharmacy had administered all of its doses. About 40%-50% of those individuals who came to the pharmacy to be vaccinated came from outside the city of Magnolia.

“It was quite overwhelming,” Hoffart said.

Second doses for those individuals who received their first dose at Magnolia Pharmacy are guaranteed by the state, he said.

"You don’t have to worry. Second vaccine is coming,” he said.

Looking ahead, Hoffart said he believes independent pharmacies are critical for the future of vaccine distribution.

“Independent pharmacies ... are the medication vaccination experts,” he said. “We know our communities. We have relationships with all our customers.”
By Eva Vigh
Eva Vigh joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2018 as a reporter for Spring and Klein. Prior to this position, she covered upstream oil and gas news for a drilling contractors' association.


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