TAYLORSVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - One small Taylorsville pharmacy is making big strides to get more people vaccinated.
The Peoples Drug Store in Taylorsville hosted a mass vaccine clinic Saturday at the East Taylorsville Baptist Church. The two-day event is a collaboration with the county health department and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
As of March 19, NCDHHS is reporting 19.7% of the people in Alexander County are at least partially vaccinated and 11.6% of the people are fully vaccinated.
The pandemic has claimed the lives of 82 people in the county, according to data from NCDHHS, some of those people were friends and family of resident Sharon Sharpe.
“We’ve had family members that have passed away and we’ve had people that we know that we’re close to that have passed away so it’s been a sad time,” Sharpe said.
Thanks to the weekend’s mass event, Sharpe says she feels like there’s a sense of hope that things will get better.
“There was an opening and I got right in so I feel like the Lord is here,” she said.
Owner and pharmacist Phil Icard said having a mass vaccine event in Taylorsville was once a dream of his and now months later, it’s a bright reality.
“It’s a big opportunity for us. We feel like we’re serving the community in a big way,” Icard said.
Icard said it was no coincidence that they held the event at the church, he says it was done in memory of Pastor Gary Jennings who died from COVID-19 in January.
Icard says the county may not have a stadium, but what mattered was providing a place where people could get the vaccine.
One woman told WBTV she drove from Catawba County for her appointment.
“The way that they know Phil and it’s a town and country too, they just feel really comfortable,” Sharpe said.
Sharpe also says this event was helpful for senior citizens who weren’t able to drive to other counties to get the vaccine.
“If everybody gets it you know maybe this stuff will get over with,” said Vaughn Bumgarner who got his vaccine
Bumgarner is a tow truck driver and says he’s around several people a day so getting the vaccine was more protection on the job and in his personal life. His wife also got the vaccine with him on Saturday.
This was the pharmacy’s first mass vaccine event, but Icard says it won’t be the last.
“You have to apply each week for a mass event. We’ve got the first one so we’ll see what happens in the future,” Icard said.
Icard and his staff are continuing to offer the vaccine at the pharmacy each week.