ParCare Community Health Network Receives 2,300 Moderna Vaccines
By Yehudit Garmaise
While frontline healthcare workers and nursing home residents and staffs begin to get vaccinated all over New York City, and other urgent care providers eagerly await shipments of COVID vaccines, the ParCare Community Health Network clinic that is located on 4714 16th Ave. received 700 Moderna vaccines at 6am to administer to anyone who is a healthcare worker, older than the age of 60, or who has underlying medical conditions.
Boro Park residents, or anyone who lives near any of ParCare’s five other locations, which received in total 2,300 vaccines, can sign up for the vaccines at parcarevaccine.com.
ParCare also has locations in Williamsburg, Crown Heights, Bensonhurst, East Harlem, and a sixth clinic in Kiryas Joel. “Hundreds of patients were already vaccinated today, and people are still coming in,” said Gary Schlesinger, the CEO and president of ParCare, who said that he expects to have vaccinated 500 people in Boro Park today. Because each vial of the Moderna vaccine has 10 doses that must be used right away, ParCare schedules vaccinations in time slots that accommodate 10 patients at a time.
Although patients can use Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance types to pay for their vaccines, patients cannot just show up at one of ParCare’s six locations without having first registered online. “You have to be on that list,” said Schlesinger, the who added that he expects to keep getting more vaccines every day. “Once you are on the list, we have to vet to make sure that you are either a healthcare worker, are over 60, or have underlying conditions. “We will not give the vaccine to people who are not eligible for this first batch of the shots.”
Schlesingler could not give the exact number of vaccines he looks forward to getting, but he said that all six locations of ParCare Clinics should be getting new shipments of vaccine every day. “Hopefully in another week or two, we will have enough to give more people, but right now this is what it is,” said Schlesinger, who explained that ParCare was able to obtain the vaccines that are still short in supply because the ParCare clinics are larger in square footage than smaller urgent care clinics and ParCare also has 18 different types of specialists who rotate working among the six clinics.
In addition, Schlesinger said, the Department of Health likes to work with clinics that have gone through the state’s rigorous approval process that is required to serve medically underserved areas because those clinics will be able to serve the most diverse populations. In addition to the locations of ParCare in four heimish neighborhoods, ParCare also serves many African-American, Latino, Chinese, and Russian patients. Schlesinger optimistically said that the general public might be able to start getting vaccinated in a week or two.
“So far Moderna is saying that they are on schedule to deliver hundreds of thousands of doses,” Schlesinger said. “So between Pfizer and Moderna, and a third vaccine that should be soon coming out, the nation is on track to receive enough vaccinations in the next month or two to vaccinate everyone.”
An earlier version of this article reported that ParCare received 3,500 vaccines, however, Mr. Schlesinger later clarified the actual number of vaccines he received to be 2,300.