School of Pharmacy students administer COVID-19 vaccines to older adults

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School of Pharmacy students Nick Cotoia, Brittany Demmons, and Brandon Rico

Students from the School of Pharmacy recently volunteered their time administering COVID-19 vaccines to residents of The Park Danforth, a facility just down the street from UNE’s Portland Campus that provides independent and assisted living for older adults.

“I knew that it would be an amazing opportunity to practice my professional and communication skills with other health care professionals and older patients,” explained Brittany Demmons (Pharm.D., ’21).

Demmons was joined by fellow students Brandon Rico (Pharm.D., ’23) and Nick Cotoia (Pharm.D., ’21). Rico was trained just in time to administer vaccines during the pandemic. Cotoia and Demmons had already received training as immunizers during the second year of their professional Doctor of Pharmacy program. Both had past experience administering vaccines, including the annual influenza vaccine.

“I have been giving vaccines for a couple of years now, and I have established an efficient workflow, so the vaccine coordinator knew that I would be a good fit for this clinic,” Demmons stated.

Demmons is currently interning with CVS pharmacy, the company that put on the clinic at The Park Danforth.

“It was hard for the company to find enough pharmacists to administer vaccines in such a short amount of time, so I wanted to volunteer,” she said.

Demmons has volunteered at several clinics since December.

“It is a great feeling knowing that you can help these patients get back to normal in terms of them being able to go out into the public or to just get out of their rooms to visit with friends and family,” she commented.

Demmons plans to transition into working at clinics in CVS stores once vaccinations become available in retails settings.

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School of Pharmacy student Brittany Demmons