As the majority of Quebec’s population gets a COVID-19 booster shot, one Montreal pharmacist is helping immunocompromised patients get their fourth.
Daron Basmadjian has created an ultra safe space at his family owned pharmacy so clients can avoid the large crowds and long lines at mass vaccination clinics.
“We’re able to open at a different time, when the pharmacy is normally closed, which is Saturdays for now,” says Basmadjian. “I’m coming in, just me, with the patients, so it’s one on one. It minimizes the risk of contamination from anyone else being here.”
The Proxim Arto Basmadjian pharmacy is equipped with C02 monitors and air purifiers, improving the ventilation.
Patients fill out paper-work in advance over the phone. They can return to their cars for the 15-minute waiting period after the vaccine has been administered as long as they are accompanied.
“This is a group of people that has been forgotten, overlooked and really feels neglected by many people including the government, he says. “This service that I am offering is something that was an initiative on my own. It should not have to be.”
Basmadjian says he felt the need to offer the select group of people his services because of his high-risk father, who is a liver transplant recipient.
“I said why don’t I put something in place that will benefit not only him but lots of other people who are in the same boat as him and I kind of just put it out there and people have really responded.”
Jerry Torchia brought in his 80 year-old aunt on Saturday. He is more than pleased with Basmadjian’s service.
“He’s pitching in,” says Torchia. “Mr. Legault is asking for help from healthcare workers or people that are retired or people that can do a little bit extra and he’s doing it out of his own time and helping the community.”
Basmadjian isn’t sure how long he will offer this service. He hopes the government does more for the the province’s most vulnerable population.