April 27, 2021
Faculty and student volunteers at the COVID vaccination clinic
Left to right: Dr. Rima Mohammad, Sarah Alsomairy (P3), Nour Kadouh (P3), Dr. Ghaidaa Najjar, and Nora Farha (P2)

On a recent Saturday afternoon, Ghaidaa Najjar, PharmD’98, PhD, research fellow at the Michigan Center for Interprofessional Education and staff pharmacist at Rite Aid, identified 144 COVID-19 doses of vaccines through Rite Aid Pharmacy that would need be wasted by Monday morning.

Dr. Najjar immediately reached out to the Michigan Islamic Academy (MIA) principal, Fayzeh Madani, and MIA parent Karma Basha to notify them of the opportunity to vaccinate the community at the school through Rite Aid.

“I was also notified that day and helped with the coordination of the pop-up clinic, identified student volunteers, and precepted those students,” explains Rima Mohammad, PharmD, clinical associate professor of pharmacy and clinical pharmacist, Michigan Medicine. “Prior to getting our students involved, the only vaccinator for the event was Dr. Najjar. I was able to secure another Rite Aid pharmacist to assist - the pharmacy students really were crucial members of the team and helped make the event successful.”

With Rite Aid, MIA and the U-M College of Pharmacy combining efforts, the team was able to quickly advertise the COVID-19 vaccine clinic and prevent 132 doses of the vaccine from going to waste. 

Pharmacy students Jared Shinners (P2), Amima Mahmood (P2), Nora Farha (P2), Sarah Alsomairy (P3), Nour Kadouh (P3), and Sara Baghdadi (P1) volunteered their time with very short notice. Dr. Mohammad oversaw the pharmacy students and also helped the event ran smoothly. 

The P2s and P3s helped draw and administer the vaccinations, while Sara Baghdadi helped screen people and assisted with interpretation of the forms and answered any concerns of the people waiting for the vaccine.

“It was a great experience because there was a mixture of individuals that were well informed about the vaccine and individuals that came with questions and concerns that I was happy to address,” says Jared Shinners.

“Due to COVID, almost all of the P1-year patient interactions were moved online or cancelled, so I was really excited and grateful for the opportunity to participate in this in-person event,” says Sara Baghdadi. “I was especially excited because the clinic was held in my high school and it felt good to be back and give back. I look forward to participating in similar events and getting more hands-on experience that show me the essential role pharmacists play in promoting public health.”

“We were able to provide vaccine to a diverse group of people – uninsured, different religions, races, and ethnicity, younger people and the elderly,” explains Dr. Mohammad. “It is amazing that we were able to create a pop-up COVID-19 clinic from nothing in less than 24 hours. Despite the timeframe, the event was successful and saved 132 COVID19 doses from going to waste and protect 132 more people from the virus.”