Drive-thru flu shots offered in Richland

Pull up, call in and get a flu shot

Getting a flu shot this season has been made easy by a Richland pharmacy’s new drive-thru flu shot service.

RX Pharmacy located on Swift Blvd in Richland has designated multiple parking sports for curbside service. During the COVID-19 pandemic, owner Randy Johnson wanted to help more people feel safe when getting prescriptions and receiving a flu shot. The pharmacy offers outdoor pick-up, delivery and now allows people to get a flu shot from their car.

“That’s kind of the good thing about this pandemic is it really has people kind of taking a step back and looking at big picture and brainstorming and doing a lot of problem solving,” Johnson said.

With children in Tri-Cities going back to school soon, districts could be concerned about a COVID-19 outbreak or even a flu outbreak. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim the symptoms of each illness are similar, but those suffering from COVID-19 could lose taste and smell. Doctors hope that if people follow social distancing, hand washing and face covering guidelines the flu can also be curtailed this year.

Johnson said innovations like curbside and delivery services are most likely here to stay even after the pandemic is over.

“Whether it be for the prescriptions or for immunizations, I certainly think that it’s going to probably play a role moving forward with life as we know it at this point,” he said.

Before the pandemic, RX Pharmacy tried to create better ways to service their customers. For customers with a handicap they already offered outdoor accommodations. Pharmacist William Yordy has worked with RX Pharmacy for 4 years and said the pandemic has definitely changed the way they do business.

It’s difficult, especially wearing the mask and like a facial expressions,” Yordy said, It’s hard to, you know, have that body language with people. We don’t get to see some of our regular customers that we normally would, that are older, that don’t want to come in. We don’t get to see them as often, so it’s difficult, but we’re getting through it.”

By offering unique services to customers though, Yordy said they’ve made getting prescriptions and care easier during the pandemic.

“We have all these extra services that people are loving, especially our delivery service, or pull-up to do the flu shots or pick-up prescriptions, so it’s kind of helped us in a way,” he said.

‘Reserved’ signs are in front of the pharmacy to designate where people can park for curbside service. The pharmacy’s phone number is listed on the sign so people can call to let the team know what they need. From there, an employee with help the customer from their car. People can pay over the phone and a team member will bring their prescription outside. If a customer is receiving a flu vaccine, the process is the same but a pharmacist will prepare the vaccine before taking it outside to administer. RX Pharmacy offers two types of vaccines including one for individuals under the age of 65 and one for older customers. After the shot is given the customer is set to drive off without having contact with more than one person. The entire process takes about 10 minutes and Yordy said any customer can use the service.

“Moms who have a bunch of kids, and it’s easier to keep them in the car with an iPad,” he said, “If you want to just pull up and get your flu shot, if it’s easier to keep them entertained inside the car., that works too.”

Anyone with questions about the process can call RX Pharmacy at 509-713-7444.