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COVID-19 fast tracks pharmacy graduation at Manchester

White Coat Ceremony Manchester
Manchester University is allowing its pharmacy students to graduate early in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - Manchester University allowed its pharmacy students to graduate early in order to join the fight against COVID-19.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed an executive order earlier this month allowing pharmacy students who have completed all of their required coursework to join the fight against COVID-19.

Executive order 20-21 allows those pharmacy students to apply for a temporary license with the Professional Licensing Agency.

Pharmacists work behind the scenes in hospitals with managing drug supplies and collaborating with physicians on medication options for patients.

Pharmacies are also seeing more demand these days as people stock up on medication and seek health care advice.

Manchester University's pharmacy program, located in Fort Wayne, graduated 65 students early.

“The expanded EO allows new graduates in Indiana to jump right in and begin to immediately care for patients and provide relief for those pharmacists who have been on the front lines,” said W. Thomas Smith, Dean of Pharmacy Programs at Manchester.

The university will grant degrees to all 65 of its fourth-year students on Friday, May 1.

Diplomas will be mailed to students.

This paves the way for them to work with a temporary license while completing the required North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination and Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination for permanent licensure.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has moved traditional Commencement celebrations to the fall.

RELATED: Indiana Gov. signs executive order allowing pharmacy students to join the fight against COVID-19

While there is no treatment for the virus, some drugs used to treat other ailments are being experimented with to treat COVID-19.

Scientists are also in the process of developing a vaccine, however, experts say it won't be here for at least 12 months.

You can read the executive order here.

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Kayla Crandall

Kayla Crandall is an Emmy award-winning journalist. She serves as the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at WPTA. Follow her on Twitter @KaylerJayne.

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