How a small pharmacy in Pennsylvania vaccines thousands of people

Schwenksville, Pa. (Reuters) – Owner Mayank Amin has been working late into the night behind the counter at Skipack Pharmacy in Schneixville, near Philadelphia, as his independent drug store received state approval to administer the COVID-19 vaccine in late January.

Dr. Mayank Amin was vaccinated against Pfizer-Bioentech Coronavirus (COVID-19) on March 7, 2021 at a clinic run by Skipack Pharmacy in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, USA. Reuters / Hannah Beer

There are thousands of emails to sort and phone calls in the field, supplies for adjustment, appointments to schedule.

Amin, known as Dr .. Mack, set up a vaccination clinic at Super Bowl Sunday at a local firehouse, which led to the more than 1,000 people he hired for the shots despite the snow that day.

“It was just like the party there,” Amin, 36, recalled in an interview with Reuters in late February. “It was something you could never have imagined in your life. Four strangers were taking someone in a wheelchair out of the mud and into the building.”

Dr. Mayank Amin opened the basement door of Nancy Higgins to surprise him with the modern coronavirus vaccine in Trapp, Pennsylvania. Ritter / Hannah Beer

Thanks to the deep ties with their communities and the trust they have been able to establish over the years, some local pharmacists have reached out to people who may be hesitant to vaccinate or may not know about vaccination efforts, said Jennifer Cates’ director. The Kaiser Family Foundation focuses on global health and HIV. V policy.

“Those local pharmacies are really important trusted voices,” Kates said.

Dr. Mayank Amin, 94, gives Helen Pepe a Pfizer-Bioentech vaccine at a clinic run by Skipack Pharmacy in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Ritter / Hannah Beer

The vaccine rollout, to be carried out by the administration of former President Donald Trump without a federal blueprint or adequate funding, has proven to be a chore. Supply has increased under President Biden, but some distribution and access barriers remain.

Montgomery County, where Schweinxville is located, has one of the highest per capita vaccination rates in the state, according to the state Department of Health website. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pennsylvania has 28 out of 50 states, with 18% of residents receiving at least one shot. (

Excessive shots

On a starving Saturday morning in late February, Amin went in a Superman costume, a remnant of past Halloween that he now occasionally wears for vaccinations, and settled down to deliver two COVID-19 vaccines while sitting at home from the frozen suburbs.

“What a surprise!” The 74-year-old from Gail Bertzhe said Amin and a few volunteers, whom she did not expect, knocked on her door. She and her husband James, who suffers from dementia, both received injections.

“I can’t believe we can really do this.”

Amin has also vaccinated people by appointment at his pharmacy, including having a special clinic for pregnant women and another vaccination for children with underlying health conditions.

One of them was the nephew of a pharmacist, who suffers from neurofibromatosis, a condition that causes tumors in the brain, nerves and other parts of the body.

Dr. Superman costumes associated with Mayank Amin can be found at Skipack Pharmacy in Svenxville, Pennsylvania. Ritter / Hannah Beer

About 3,000 people have received their first shots of both Moderna and Pfizer-Bioentech through Skipack Pharmacy since the beginning of February, Amin said. Among the nearly 1,000 residents who received the second dose over the weekend were Chester and Martha Pish, aged 97 and years, respectively, who have been married for 78 years.

The clinic, run by Skipack Pharmacy in College Lageville, Pennsylvania, offers Pfizer-Bioentech vaccines to Martha and Chester. Ritter / Hannah Beer

After receiving a large supply of vaccines, the pharmacist said he plans to run several clinics this coming week.

The effort is being put to all use for Amin, and is flooded with hurdles, including the planning of vaccine stocks – which reach a few hours notice, side effects of supply chain hiccups that are problems due to rollout.

Dr. Mayank Amin arrives with the Pfizer-Bioentech vaccines at the Skipack Pharmacy-run vaccination clinic in College Lageville, Pennsylvania. Ritter / Hannah Beer

The young pharmacist reunites with his pregnant wife over the weekend as a health precaution and spends the week at his parents ’home in Lansdale. The couple will welcome their first child in May.

Dr. Mayank Amin feels his wife Payal Amin’s stomach for kicking his son at his wife’s parents’ home in Pisketway, New Jersey. Ritter / Hannah Beer

“I want to be there when my baby is born, and I want to make sure all my people are vaccinated by then,” he told Reuters. “It would be my dream if I could.”

Dr. Mayank Amin kept a note from his wife at his parents’ home in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. Ritter / Hannah Beer


The epidemic trouble and now the drive to get into people’s weapons has united its Montgomery County community behind its pharmacists.

Dr. Mayank Amin and his family offer devotion at the BAPS Shree Swaminarayan Temple in Robinsville, New Jersey. Ritter / Hannah Beer

Last Friday, five volunteers gathered at the back of the store. They filled out spreadsheets with patient contact information and checked inventory supply inventory.

Amin has another full-time employee, Jacqueline Ziegler, and two pharmacy student interns, Erica Maybury and Isabelle Lerler. But he can count on dozens of volunteers, including family members, to answer the phone and help the low-tech-savvy patients navigate the system naline system to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

“It’s just amazing how everyone filters this in one place,” said Courtney Marengo, one of Amin’s volunteers, event planner.

Amin said he is not in the process of owning a pharmacy. When it was bought by national giant CVS in 2018, a 50-year-old local organization, Skipack, it moved to fill a left void. The chain acquired the property of Skipack Pharmacy, but not the physical space. Amin reopened it before the epidemic, hoping to keep the tool in the community.

The exterior of Skipec Pharmacy is located in Schneixville, Pennsylvania. Ritter / Hannah Beer

“I think sometimes things get in your lap at some point in your life.” “You didn’t plan it to happen, but things happen for the right reasons.”

Reporting by Maria Caspani and Hannah Beer in Schneixville, Pennsylvania; Written by Maria Caspani; Edited by Donna Bryson and Lisa Schumacher