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WVU Today: WVU Pharmacy professor drives effort to administer COVID-19 vaccine to West Virginia teachers

WVU Today: WVU Pharmacy professor drives effort to administer COVID-19 vaccine to West Virginia teachers

As West Virginia primary and secondary school students prepare for in-person instruction next week, an associate professor in the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy is organizing the effort to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to teachers and school personnel. 

Dr. Krista Capehart
Dr. Krista Capehart

Dr. Krista Capehart, who also serves as director of professional and regulatory affairs for the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy, is playing a leading role in administering the COVID-19 vaccine to all K-12 school personnel aged 50 and older. The drive is part of West Virginia’s ongoing vaccination plan organized by Governor Jim Justice through the Joint Interagency Task Force and in partnership with the West Virginia Department of Education.

Capehart is coordinating the endeavor with the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy, WVDE, county school boards and school nurses in all 55 counties. In just nine days, nearly 18,000 eligible teachers, support staff and bus drivers received their first dose of the vaccine. 

“This has been a trying year for educators and students,” Capehart said. “Organizing this process, which will offer another level of protection in our public schools, has been incredibly exciting.”

Capehart mobilized volunteers at 33 independent pharmacies, one local health department and 19 community health departments to administer the vaccine in 56 clinics across the state. Students, interns and community practice residents from the School of Pharmacy stepped in to provide help.