November 17, 2021

Commitment To Community

Katterman’s Pharmacy immunizes hundreds of children against COVID-19.

Child Vaccine
Even a cold, rainy November morning in Seattle can’t dampen the enthusiasm of volunteers on hand at Katterman’s Pharmacy for its inaugural pediatric COVID immunization clinic. According to Katterman’s co-owner and UWSOP alumna Bev Schaefer ‘70, the event showcases both the strength of local volunteerism and how integral neighborhood pharmacies are to the health and success of the communities they serve.

“This is something that has a huge effect on our community and really enhances the ability for people to recognize that pharmacy plays a vital role in staying healthy,” she said. “To pull this off requires an army of volunteers and a lot of planning. Luckily, we recruited students from the UW School of Pharmacy, retired physicians, neighbors and parents – it’s a wonderful event.”

If the line of parents and children stretching around the block well before the clinic’s 9 a.m. opening is any indication, all that effort paid off in spades.Vaccine

“We’re expecting about 350 kids coming through,” said Katterman’s pharmacist Lisa Garza. “We’re very experienced in vaccinating children of all ages, so when the COVID vaccine for kids was announced, we knew we had to have it available here. The sooner we can get kids vaccinated, the sooner families can go enjoy the holidays, the sooner schools will be safer.”

In an effort to ease any anxieties for both children and parents, Bev and her team have created a welcoming environment, complete with a bevy of lollipops for the successfully vaccinated and a purple “badge of courage” that reads “Ready To Hug Grandparents! – I Got Vaccinated.”candy

Operation Immunization, an initiative UWSOP Clinical Professor Don Downing helped pioneer as a training program for students to provide vaccines to local communities, also played a part in Sunday’s festivities. First-year Pharmacy student Zoe Amaris was among the first batch of volunteers on hand to help prepare vaccines and witness the initial wave of satisfied customers trot out the door fully vaccinated with lollipops in hand. Zoe was inspired to volunteer for the clinic due to her background and interest in process development.

Zoe Amaris

UWSOP volunteer and first-year student, Zoe Amaris.

“Before attending UW, I was working in pharmaceutical development, so it’s great to see the manufacturing side come into practice in terms of application and giving vaccine doses to patients,” she said. “Just seeing kids being able to get their vaccinations – that’s really awesome. I’m so happy to help and give back to the community.”

Watch the new Pharmacy Frontline video on the pediatric COVID immunization clinic, hosted by Katterman’s Pharmacy.