AUSTIN, Texas - In the next 19 days, teams with Austin’s Tarrytown Pharmacy will set up 37 drive-thru vaccination clinics in parking lots across the state, distributing approximately 22,000 Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccines to disabled Texans and their caregivers.
Four teams of seven to ten people, many temporary employees, will be administering the vaccinations everywhere from Austin to El Paso.
"We identified all of the [intellectually and developmentally disabled] populations through different providers and provider organizations, and what we did was we kind of scatter plotted that depending on the population density of those folks throughout the state, and then we identified those city targets of where we wanted to set [clinics] up," explained Tarrytown Pharmacy Owner and PharmD, Mark Newberry.
The program is called the "March to Vaccinate Vulnerable Texans."
Rannon Ching, the pharmacist in charge, says Tarrytown Pharmacy received many calls from vulnerable Texans unable to get vaccinated and wanted to help. The independent pharmacy contacted the Texas Department of State Health Services and offered to organize mobile vaccine drive-thru clinics.
Ten days ago, the state greenlit the project, giving them vaccinations, funding, and other resources. "It’s a really proud moment, it’s very heartwarming and it’s a very rewarding experience," said Ching.
The first clinic was held Monday, in front of the Tarrytown Expocare Clinic. About 500 people were vaccinated, including 24-year-old Nicholas Hurtado.
Hurtado has been almost completely isolated for the past year, spending most of his days inside the Round Rock home he shares with his grandmother, Nancy Lester.
Upon receiving the vaccine Hurtado told FOX 7 Austin "I feel better." Adding he hopes to soon return to his day habilitation facility.
"It’s been hard for both of us," said Lester. Adding "with autism [Hurtado] really needs to socialize."
The pharmacy is currently working with healthcare providers and agencies to schedule appointments. They are not currently scheduling individual appointments.
Individuals who would like to be considered for future clinics, or those looking to add their group to the list can contact: COVIDIDD@tarrytownpharmacy.com