Pharmacist organizes COVID vaccine pop-ups

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ELMHURST, Queens (WABC) -- One by one, people are rolling up their sleeves to get injected with the COVID vaccine, and this makes Ambar Keluskar very happy.

"If you look at the statistics, there are still so many people who have been vaccinated, including seniors. That means the current approaches are leaving people out," said Keluskar.

Keluskar is trying to fill that gap - he is a pharmacist who gets about 200 doses per week. By early March, he had more doses than he had requests at his East New York pharmacy.

"These doses are in the freezer - you have to use them or the state will get them and give them to someone else, and remove your ability to give vaccines," he added.



So Keluskar advertised on Facebook, cold-called pharmacy clients, and tweeted around for help from local officials to get the word out. He was frustrated.

Finally, a state senator matched him with a community organization with seniors who needed the vaccine. Now, 2-3 times a week, he and his pharmacist wife take their doses on the road.

On Thursday he was in Elmhurst at a hub run by Common Point Queens - a social services organization.

"Very very excited - I tried for a long time to get an appointment, and couldn't get anywhere," said Esther Fridman, 66.

76-year-old Wilfred Rivera is relieved.

"I'm relieved, and when I get the second, I'll be more relieved - cruise when they're up and running!" he said.

And here, you can be a Yankees fan or a Mets fan - no questions asked.

Keluskar has now vaccinated people in Little Neck, Fort Greene, the Lower East Side and he is still eligible at his Brooklyn pharmacy. He would like to be given even more doses so he can do more pop-up clinics.

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