GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- The Grants Pass Pharmacy is helping administer the COVID-19 vaccine to people in Josephine County.
Owner Michele Belcher says they became involved after adult foster care homes and Josephine County Public Health reached out for assistance.
The pharmacy has vaccinated over 700 people since their first clinic in January.
Last week, they vaccinated over 220 people 80 years and older.
“I had a gentleman that was over 100-years-old,” Belcher said. “I had several in their late 90’s and it's just been a very gratifying experience to be able to talk with these patients and assist them, answer their questions and help get them their vaccine.”
Belcher says they're seeing a high demand for the vaccine.
“The first hour of the day especially, is literally the phone ringing off the hook,” Belcher said.
She says they’re getting at least 50 extra phone calls an hour.
“It’s a challenge realizing that a lot of our elderly population don't have access to a computer, maybe have visual limitations that limit their ability to use their computer,” Belcher said.
The pharmacy has been actively taking a wait list, and around 60 of the doses they gave last week went to patients who couldn’t register online, but were able to call and come to the pharmacy.
Josephine County Public Health is working to start up a call center that will tackle issues like this.
Belcher says this will ease some of their workload, but in the meantime, they plan to keeping vaccinating as many people as they can.
“We're happy to help, showing the independent pharmacy can be nimble and move to meet the needs of the community,” Belcher said.