WSU alumna’s business administers COVID-19 vaccines

Prevention NW is one of first COVID-19 vaccine providers in Spokane County; business launched in 2014 as mobile service



Jill Harvey and her team at Prevention NW set up local clinics to administer Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

TRINITY WILLSEY, Evergreen reporter

A WSU alumna expanded her business to meet the state’s COVID-19 vaccination needs, administering about 500 doses since December.

Jill Harvey graduated from WSU in 2004 with a doctorate in pharmacy. After graduation, Harvey said she worked for a company that administered vaccinations and set up flu clinics. 

When the company was purchased and the vaccine clinic program was dropped, Harvey decided to rebrand the business, she said. 

Harvey said she launched Prevention NW in 2014 as a mobile pharmacist service to make vaccines more accessible. Over a six-year period, she worked to expand the focus of her business to address preventative medicine, including medication therapy and diabetes management.

Since December, Harvey has extended her business’s services to include administering Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. Prevention NW was one of the first vaccine providers in Spokane County, she said. 

Currently, Prevention NW’s goal is to help the community overcome this pandemic, said Sean Coen, WSU alumnus and clinical operations manager for Prevention NW. 

As a mobile service, the company sets up local vaccine clinics to administer COVID-19 vaccines, Coen said. 

“It is a business that is able to help the community and individuals through this pandemic and in this unusual time period,” he said. 

Harvey serves as the director of pharmacy at Inland Northwest Behavioral Clinic and has experience as a youth mental health specialist. She said she views Prevention NW more as her side business. Her business took off during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Harvey is the mother of a 12- and 15-year-old. She said the pandemic has been hard on everyone, especially youths who are stuck at home. 

Children are resilient to a certain point, she said. 

The younger population is not experiencing the effects of COVID-19 like the older population. They are just the carriers, Harvey said. With the vulnerable and older populations vaccinated, it would be safe for children to return to school.

“I think it is really important that these kids get back to school,” Harvey said. “Not just for their physical well-being, but their mental well-being.”

Parents should do their best to have open-ended conversations with their children, Harvey said. 

In these difficult times, it is important for everyone to have coping mechanisms, such as biking, hiking and engaging in crafts or projects. 

“I think the best thing [my family] has done is talk about our day every day and what we have learned differently in this challenging world,” she said. 

As Washington progresses through the CDC-recommended vaccination phases, the demand for the COVID-19 vaccine will increase, Harvey said.

Prevention NW currently has a long waitlist of people to receive the vaccine, she said. The business is staffed by about 20 individuals, and only three people are managing the vaccination clinics. 

Harvey said they are focusing on hiring more pharmacists and nurses to administer COVID-19 vaccines as quickly as possible. 

There have been many false rumors circulating about the COVID-19 vaccine on social media, leaving people paranoid about getting vaccinated, she said. 

The COVID-19 vaccine is not a live virus, unlike the shingles and MMR vaccines, Harvey said. Messenger RNA, a part of the virus that is not alive, creates new antibodies inside people that will fight the COVID-19 virus.

Messenger RNA is not new, she said. The vaccine formulation has been studied for over 20 years, and it is normal in our body as part of our DNA replication.

“At first I was very scared, too,” Harvey said. “But as I continued to learn more and more from drug companies and manufacturers and from the scientists that were behind this, I found that [the vaccine] is very safe.”

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to correct information about the COVID-19 vaccination.