Independent pharmacies like Medicine Shoppes in Pacific and St. Clair and Schroeder Drugs in Washington are stepping up to deliver COVID-19 vaccines.

That’s good news. It is crucial to get independent pharmacies involved in the effort to defeat the virus. One of the reasons that’s true was highlighted in a story written by Reporter Elena Cruz in The Missourian over the weekend.

A recent report by the Kaiser Family Foundation found rural Americans are less likely to get vaccinated than urban Americans.

Independent pharmacies serve rural communities — they always have. There is a trust factor between the pharmacies and their customers who have been using them for generations.

Research indicates people are more likely to accept a vaccine from somebody they trust and know. That’s why independent pharmacies are well-positioned to play a vital role in vaccine distribution.

Even if they’re just doing a few hundred shots a week, that’s still a lot of vaccines that can be administered in the community and to a segment of the population who might not otherwise get a vaccine.

We are fortunate to have independent pharmacies involved locally in the coronavirus vaccination campaign.