I am currently on a temporary contract vaccinating for a retail pharmacy. It's awesome! Most of the pharmacists and all the contract nurses are awesome! The other's involved in greeting and organizing the butt-load of patients are usually young with such a bright future. I love them all!!
Here's my thing.......
The retail pharmacies receive their vaccine PPE supply and all the other stuff needed to administer vaccines from the CDC (our taxes - more on this in a minute). They get boxes shipped regularly with face shields, alcohol pads, syringes, needles, surgical masks, vaccine cards. Sharps containers and gloves are also shipped regularly. When the store pharmacies were vaccinating the LTC's, the stores that held vaccine clinics in the LTC's also received gowns, N95's, surgical masks. CDC also pays for the bandaids from the store stock. These retail places pay nothing for any of these supplies.
This is in my area, don't know about other areas. But I think it's all the same with the retail pharmacy part of the vaccine effort.
Today, I found out something when unpacking and organizing the supplies from a bunch of boxes that have been sitting around for at least 3 weeks. There were tons of syringes and needles.. Tons of face shields, alcohol pads and surgical masks. All of these items in my estimation will go unused because they keep shipping them and the boxes continue to stack up! It's too much. And OMG the plastic bags that will go into a landfill drives me crazy (that's for another post).
I had an idea today. I am willing to go around to the retail pharmacies and collect the excess (and I mean e.x.c.e.s.s) supplies and find a way to donate these badly needed supplies to underserved areas, like homeless shelters and hospitals that are known to still NOT provide the proper PPE to frontline workers. Even grocery store workers, childcare centers. But mostly underserved areas.
When I asked the store manager today if I could take a box full of face shields and surgical masks to the county clinic for the homeless, I was told that the store's district managers are planning to create barcodes so that item's can be SOLD at the store! This means that this huge corporation is trying to plan a way to sell these leftover items that are paid for with OUR TAX DOLLARS for their own corporate benefit.
I am p*ssed off about this. It's completely unethical. It bothers me even if these retail places plan to buy these leftover supplies and then sell them. I want to report this to someone. I am not sure who will listen. The CDC? My Senators? HHS? MY State? This is our money that's being played with. Maybe the stores should be shipping back excess supplies. But they are not!
After writing this post, It's become cleat that it's not really a dilemma for me. I know what I want to do. But dang. Who will listen? Thanks for reading.