A Warren County man who was part of the giant Pfizer team that developed a COVID-19 vaccine has now started a mobile pop-up vaccination clinic.
Dr. Kofi Amoah, after graduating from Cedarville University School of Pharmacy, was hired by Pfizer in August 2019. When the coronavirus pandemic swept the U.S. in March 2020, he was assigned to the team tasked with creating a vaccine.
Amoah said his work changed dramatically when the pandemic started.
“It was scary at first because there wasn’t so much information about it. There were so many unknowns,” Amoah said.
Amoah is originally from Ghana but now lives in South Lebanon in Warren County. He is a medical outcome specialist at Pfizer, serving as a go-between for three different Pfizer clinical sites.
He was responsible for collecting and collating data on side effects of the vaccine ranging from serious to mild, passed along questions from one test site to another and ensured that Pfizer senior researchers were following proper protocols when recruiting test subjects.
Work hasn’t ended with the vaccines out, there’s still a lot that needs to be done, Amoah said.
He continues to work with Pfizer on testing. His work with Pfizer includes “un-blinding” people who participated in the coronavirus vaccine study and giving those who got the placebo the actual vaccine.
“All of the concentration and everything went onto (developing a vaccine). We directed all of our resources to that,” Amoah said. “It was a huge task and I think everybody played their role.”
Amoah has also started a new business, Sterling Rapid Response.
Amoah started Sterling Rapid Response to make people aware this vaccine “is a great thing to solve what is going on.” His work with Pfizer helped him understand the side effects of the vaccine and he wanted to educate people on the coronavirus vaccine.
“I knew from the get-go it was going to be a challenge and a process to get people vaccinated. I knew that for us to get everybody vaccinated, it wouldn’t take the normal system... people going to the hospital or doctor. It would take us bringing the vaccines to the people,” Amoah said.
Sterling Rapid Response has been approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a vaccine provider for 500,000 patients. This allows the business to set up a mobile clinic and collaborate with Hamilton County Public Health and the Springdale (OH) Health Department to help administer and distribute the vaccine. Amoah said Sterling Rapid Response could be in full force by next week.
Amoah said he is also hoping to get his mobile clinics into Dayton. He said his team is in talks with Tri-County Mall to set up a mobile clinic there. They could give up to a thousand vaccines a day there, he said.
“We plan on doing pop up clinics around the whole city,” he said.
Amoah has reached out to the Cedarville school of pharmacy asking for students, interns and professors who could help administer the vaccine in these locations once the vaccine is more readily available.
Amoah said the public health department will schedule patients, but his business will supply the labor for administering the vaccine.
“We have the personnel. We have the expertise,” Amoah said.
Amoah said being able to be part of the solution to the coronavirus pandemic is “a privilege and an honor.”
“I attribute it to the grace of God. I never thought that I’d be doing something like this, something huge and great like this,” Amoah said. “I know we are not there yet, but I always have hope.”