Hometown Heroes: Phoenixville, Pa. leaders team up to vaccinate community

A team in Phoenixville has given more than 7,500 shots to the town out of a mobile trailer.
PHOENIXVILLE, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A group of pharmacists, firefighters and emergency medical service personnel in Phoenixville, Chester County have been hard at work trying to keep residents safe from COVID-19.

Filling out cards, administering shots and monitoring patients - it's a process pharmacist Mark Szilagyi and his team at Gateway Pharmacy have gone through thousands of times, but they've yet to grow weary.

"It's nice to be able to touch the entire community and be able to help them," Szilagyi said.

For him, it's also nice that he's not in it alone.

The partnership hits the who's who of Phoenixville, including the fire department, mayor's office, and Phoenixville Hospital.

"Knowing that every vaccination is going to make a difference in our community is huge," said Chief Rafael Henin with Valley Forge and West End Fire Companies.

Together, they've given more than 7,500 shots to the town out of a mobile trailer.

"So we can reach people where they are and they don't have to go to a big vaccination center," said Chief Henin.

Most recently, the effort has centered on 5 to 11-year-olds in nearby school districts. And it's a different style of the clinic, with balloons and lollipops.

"(Patients let us know) they were really appreciative of the fact that it was more like a birthday party than a vaccine clinic," said Karin Williams, the director of the Phoenixville Office of Emergency Management.

"The phone has been off the hook, just people wanting to get vaccinated, wanting to get their child vaccinated," said Szilagyi.

For Szilagyi, it's also personal. He's a new dad. His daughter is 1-year-old.

"She's probably the greatest thing ever done in my life," said Szilagyi.

The team says it has more clinics for elementary school kids coming up. The next one will be Thursday by appointment only at the Phoenixville School District.

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