Second-year student pharmacist Rachel Dietz
administers a COVID-19 vaccine at The Harkin Institute.

Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (CPHS) and Hy-Vee have partnered to administer COVID-19 vaccines to eligible Polk County, Iowa residents. The vaccinations are administered by appointment at the Harkin Institute’s new building at 2800 University Ave. Several days each week. 

The partnership is a testament to the commitment of the CPHS and Hy-Vee to help the community overcome the pandemic. Hy-Vee is providing the supplies and administration support needed for the campus vaccination site, while trained student pharmacists are administering the vaccine under the supervision of certified Drake University pharmacy faculty.   

“Our Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) students entered the pharmacy profession to make a difference and with their intensive and comprehensive vaccine training, are well prepared to administer this life saving vaccine for COVID,” said Renae Chesnut, EdD, MBA, RPh, dean and professor. “Our college is pleased to partner with Hy-Vee and be one of the sites selected to offer the COVID-19 vaccine. I am proud that the pharmacy profession and our college are able to be part of the solution to this pandemic.”  

For more than 20 years, all doctor of pharmacy students from Drake have received certification on administering vaccinations. This year, first year student pharmacists will have the opportunity to be trained so that they can also assist with the vaccination efforts beginning this spring. 

Angie Nelson, PH’01, Hy-Vee’s Senior Vice President of Pharmacy Innovation said, “Hy-Vee is excited to offer COVID-19 vaccinations at our pharmacies and in partnership with the Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Our pharmacies have extensive experience providing vaccinations to our communities and are a convenient location for the public. Future pharmacists are important members of our vaccination teams.” 

Drake is unique in having a health professions college so highly engaged in COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Besides the vaccine administration, the College also organized and administered COVID-19 tests for more than 1,400 students before they moved onto campus for the fall 2020 semester and carried out ongoing surveillance testing throughout the semester. Students will assist with the testing and surveillance again for the spring 2021 semester. 

The most current vaccine information is available at the Polk County Health Department website. Inquiries about appointments at Drake’s vaccination site should be directed to (515) 474-4816.