Pottstown Pharmacy Clinic Vaccinated Dozens Sunday
POTTSTOWN PA – A large group of Pottstown volunteers encountered a problem Sunday (May 2, 2021) that’s becoming all too familiar at coronavirus vaccination sites across the country. They had plenty of two-dose Pfizer vaccines available to administer, lots of enthusiasm and manpower to provide assistance, and far fewer arms than hoped for to receive shots.
Pottstown Pharmacy pharmacist and walk-in clinic organizer Nick Chigurupati, however, isn’t a man easily discouraged. He said he’s still thinking about ways to ensure as many residents in the borough and beyond are protected, at no cost to them, from COVID-19 and its potentially deadly effects.
Chigurupati, some of his employees and friends, many members of the Pottstown chapter of the NAACP and its President John Corson, and volunteers for the Carousel at Pottstown (a few of whom appear above; Chigurupati is second from left) all gathered to work at the clinic from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Carousel building on West King Street. They stood ready and eager to welcome passers-by, who needed no appointment, and deliver the inoculation that protects them and others from the virus. Sign-holders even took up positions on nearby West High Street to alert and flag down interested drivers.
Those who showed up for vaccines generally expressed gratitude for the opportunity. Most said they were unable earlier to get scheduled appointments. A few claimed they were motivated by the prospect of immediacy in getting a shot, and added the day’s warm and sunny weather encouraged them to come out.
About 500 vaccine doses were on hand at the start of the day. Four hours later, at the clinic’s mid-point, only slightly more than 100 had been distributed.
Nationwide, health experts admit what they describe as “vaccine hesitancy” is frustrating other clinic planners too. About 20 percent of the U.S. population, according to recent polling, intends to decline accepting vaccines. Some worry about publicized side effects. There are those who object to vaccinations for personal or religious reasons. Others believe the pandemic is languishing, and their need to be vaccinated is reduced; untrue, the experts say.
Corson acknowledged those concerns, and praised Chigurupati’s “great efforts” to keep operating clinics. The Pottstown NAACP has done its part too, Corson added, by enlisting as much personnel help as possible, and connecting with legislators and state agencies to ensure vaccine supplies are allocated for the purpose. He singled out state 146th District Rep. Joe Ciresi for rendering valuable help.
Chigurupati’s next attempt? That could be something more out-of-the-box, he said, like offering on-the-spot vaccinations at the pharmacy itself, 1501 E. High St. It could create a different set of problems, he agrees, but believes it’s worth trying. “Anything” to keep building herd immunity, he indicated, could be a good thing.
Photos by The Post