Vaccines, at-home testing to help combat COVID

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – At Access Family Pharmacy, they’re hoping to get COVID vaccinations within the next couple of weeks.

“We’re going to be vaccinating the 1a1 groups first. These will primarily be long-term care facilities comprising of assistant living, nursing homes and those types of facilities as well their staff. So we will be organizing clinics and setting up with those homes to come and vaccinate them,” Pharmacist Jake Standefer said.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, 74 hospitals will get vaccines on Thursday.

The vaccines will be made available to folks according to the state’s distribution plan.

Standefer said they’ll either be getting the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines both of which are administered in two doses.

“So they’ll get their first shot and then the next shot will be 21 to 28 days later depending on the vaccination,” Standefer said.

As many wait for a vaccine, moves are being made to expand access to COVID testing.

On Tuesday, the FDA issued emergency use authorization for Ellume COVID-19 Home Test.

It’s an over-the-counter test that can be done completely at home.

Standefer said that once they can get them from their wholesalers, they’ll have them on the shelves.

“I think more testing is always a good thing whether it’s a self-administered test or a it’s a test here at the store. If the FDA feels that this test is safe enough for people to use at home, then I’m totally on board with it. I think more testing is a good thing that way we can try to isolate people who have this virus,” Standefer said.

The FDA has already approved some at-home tests that require either a prescription or has to be sent to a lab.

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