NYC pharmacist brings unused vaccine to seniors in their communities

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ELMHURST, Queens — A New York City pharmacist is making sure no COVID-19 vaccine doses allocated to his pharmacy are being wasted.

PIX11 viewers first met Ambar Keluskar on March 9, when he discussed how Rossi Pharmacy in Brooklyn continually had excess doses of vaccine due to vaccination restrictions for pharmacies.

So, the managing pharmacist began working with community organizations in Brooklyn and Queens to bring the Moderna vaccine directly to senior citizens.

“Everyone we vaccinated, it’s been such a pleasure,” Keluskar said.

On Thursday, Keluskar and his team brought about 80 doses to Commonpoint Queens in Elmhurst.

“I live a couple miles away,” Pat Morgan said. The Queens resident has mobility issues and vaccination at the Queens Boulevard pop-up made things much easier. “When this became available, this is great. Now I can cancel my appointment for May at York college.”

Rossi Pharmacy receives 200 doses of Moderna a week. The pharmacists go through community needs and then excess doses are allocated to pop-ups.

“Just wherever there are seniors in need, as long as I’ve taken care of my local population,” Keluskar said.

Danielle Ellman of Commonpoint Queens said the partnership is working well.

“Working with Ambar, who otherwise would have these vials theoretically not going to use, it kind of is the perfect marriage. We go out and we find the community members, he comes in with his team,” she said.

That marriage brought a vaccine to Hollis resident Deborah Cole. And she had a message to her neighbors about the vaccine.

“I just wish other people would not be fearful,” Cole said. She was joyful and relieved.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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