UPPER DARBY, Pa. (CBS) — A small drug store in Delaware County says it’s the perfect community partner to administer COVID-19 vaccines but says it feels cut out of the process.
Like many independent pharmacies, one in Upper Darby is now feeling helpless to aid its community.READ MORE: Fall Full-Capacity Concerts, Xfinity Live! Preparing To Reopen Has Philadelphia's Stadium District Buzzing With Energy
Diane Klause says she spent thousands of dollars prepping Public Drug to help vaccinate her neighborhood. After receiving and administering 200 Moderna vaccines, she says they stopped coming.
“No explanation why, just due to vaccine supply,” Klause, owner of Public Drug, said.
Klause showed Eyewitness News a letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Health asking her to not request additional doses, cutting her and other independent pharmacies out from distribution until more vaccines become available.
Klause says the Department of Health has not given her any indications as to when more supply will be available.
“No, not at all,” she said. “And I don’t expect it to be any time soon.”
“This is the pile of people that have called in, didn’t have access to a computer and we took down all of their information,” Monty Singh, a pharmacist at Public Drug, said. “Right now, I currently have about 3,600 people on the waiting list.”
The pharmacy says if the state’s goal of decreasing the inequity of vaccine distribution is by consolidating sites, this neighborhood, with its diverse culture and potential language barrier, will be left behind.
“There’s people that are afraid to travel out of the neighborhood,” Klause said. “They’re afraid to. There are people that can’t travel out of the neighborhood for physical reasons.”READ MORE: Tolls Increasing Sunday On 8 Delaware River Crossings Connecting Pennsylvania, New Jersey
“They need us. This community needs us,” Singh said. “You’re lost when you go to a CVS or Rite Aid.”
“Just let me continue what I’m doing,” Klause said. “I understand the need for opening bigger clinics and mass vaccination sites, but these people aren’t going to go there.”
“There are a lot of people unsure. Should I get it? Should I not? This way they know who they’re dealing with,” Isabell Momenee of Havertown said. “You’re not a number, a random number.”
Momenee received her second vaccine dose on Tuesday.
The pharmacy says they have enough vaccines to completely vaccinate those 200 people, but that’s it. They say they’ve tried to get answers for themselves and other independent pharmacies but to no avail.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health said in a statement:
“Essentially, while the supply of vaccine remains extremely limited, instead of giving very few doses to a lot of different providers each week we will be giving larger quantities of vaccine to fewer providers.
“The providers in the focused group were selected based on an extensive analysis to ensure that at least 95 percent of the state is covered and that the providers receiving large quantities of vaccine are located within a two-mile radius in urban areas, five-miles in suburban areas and 30-miles in rural areas.MORE NEWS: Pennsylvania's Democratic Senate Race Raises Simmering Divisions Inside Party
“This is a temporary shift until the supply of vaccine catches up to demand. At that point, vaccine will be available for all of the providers.”