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Local pharmacies, including Gibbs in Lebanon, are helping distribute the COVID vaccine

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Posted at 4:39 PM, Feb 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-05 21:26:42-05

LEBANON, Tenn. (WTVF) — Many of you have told us you've been stuck on your county health department's vaccine waiting list for weeks. There's now another option emerging for people over the age of 70 -- calling select pharmacies in Middle Tennessee.

"I kept having to wait, I thought, I didn’t want to have to wait forever," said Pat Turner, a vaccine recipient.

If it wasn't for Gibbs Pharmacy in Lebanon, Turner would still be on Metro Nashville's vaccine waiting list. "I’m a piano teacher, obviously, so I’m right in kids' faces all the time so it was important for me to get it," said Turner.

After waiting two weeks and counting to hear back from Metro, Gibbs Pharmacy was able to put a shot in her arm within just two days of her calling for an appointment.

This family-owned drug store is one of the dozens in Tennessee being used to distribute the Moderna version of the COVID vaccine, in part because they have the capability to store it safely.

"Once we break the seal on this vial, we have to use every shot in it within 6 hours. If not we would have to waste that," said Jim Gibbs, co-owner of Gibbs Pharmacy.

Gibbs says they haven't wasted a drop of the highly sought vaccine. "Total we’ve had 1300 doses here," he said.

On some days, the pharmacy has appointments scheduled every two minutes. "We’ve had people drive from neighboring counties," said Gibbs.

Pharmacists come outside and administer everything at the patient's car to help with social distancing. Jim says they have their routine down to a science.

"We find out what vehicle you’re going to drive. And say if it’s a red SUV, we’ll look out there and see the red SUV and then go out and confirm who they are. We finish up any paperwork and then give them the shot," he said.

A portion of the vaccines given to Gibbs Pharmacy by the state of Tennessee are taken to long term care facilities to help with the distribution to patients there. "Yesterday we went to a place in Nashville and did 300," said Gibbs.

Gibbs says just like everywhere else, demand is high and supply is inconsistent. "We found out by email that we were getting a thousand on Monday, and that’s how quick it is," he said.

Jim promises. whatever amount of doses they're given, his staff will distribute as fast as they can. "It’s our pharmaceutical duty to get it done," said Gibbs.

For a full list of Tennessee pharmacies offering up the vaccine, click here. Gibbs Pharmacy: (615) 449-3355