SKIPPACK — Skippack Pharmacy’s very own Superman has soared to new heights in recent weeks, helping to get nearly 2,500 people inoculated during several COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Montgomery County.

Since cases of COVID-19 were first reported locally, pharmacist and Skippack Pharmacy owner Mayank Amin has donned superhero costumes while working at the drugstore based at 4118 W. Skippack Pike.

“Superman’s my favorite because of his ability to fly and fight the bad guys,” Amin said in a June 2020 interview. “Although I wish I could fly, fight COVID and serve more patients, the costume gives me energy to keep going and do whatever I can with what I've been tasked to do.”

He’s built up a local following, resembling the ever-so-popular protagonist from comic books and Marvel movies while working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Months later, he’s kept up the persona to keep people smiling as he continued delivering prescriptions to clients and personal protective equipment to first responders.

Now, he’s working to get people vaccinated.

Amin began working to secure doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines by learning about storage and training requirements.

After filing the necessary paperwork, a representative from the Pennsylvania Department of Health sent a “COVID vaccine survey” two weeks ago, he requested the first doses for the priority 1A group, which the officials define as people 18 to 64 years old with certain medical conditions, and those 65 and older.

Amin suited up in his Superman costume, but he didn't do it alone. Along with other members of the Skippack Pharmacy team, and more than 100 volunteers, organizers put on two successful vaccination events so far this month.

“We’ve developed a sense of community in that it’s not just Skippack Pharmacy’s immunization clinic, this is a community that’s running this clinic, not just a one-man team,” Amin said.

With larger venues able to accommodate more people, Amin outsourced and worked with community partners to vaccinate more people at once.

Clients and other area residents donated their time to help Amin by taking participant’s temperatures, checking people in and out, and making sure they’re social distancing. Those interested in volunteering at the clinics can fill out a form online.

The inaugural event was on Feb. 7 as nearly eight inches of snow blanketed the area at Skippack Fire Company at 1230 Bridge Road, Skippack, and the most recent took place on Valentine's Day at Skippack Elementary School.

“Some of our patients came there and when they came and saw what was happening, they went home and got their shovels and came back and just started shoveling,” Amin said of the Feb. 7 event. “There were people helping the seniors; patients helping patients.”

Still, it was crucial to press on.

“If we didn’t move forward with last Sunday’s vaccine clinic, and just said, ‘We had to cancel due to snow,’ one-thousand fewer people would have been vaccinated in our community,” Amin said. “We wouldn’t have been able to do this Sunday's clinic.”

Many of the people who’ve shown up were elated to get a vaccine, Amin recalled, adding it was as if they’ve received “the golden ticket.”

“The fact that they’re actually standing in line, they’re just jumping with joy, and you just see that,” Amin said. “The smiles light up, and after they receive the vaccine, I see nothing but tears in people's eyes, tears of happiness, not because they’re sad, but they’re just so excited at the thought that they might be able to see their family members again. It’s one more step toward normalcy.”

In the meantime, Amin urged area residents to remain vigilant by wearing masks, keeping their hands clean and adhering to social distancing guidelines.

“We might be in a little town, a small little suburb out of Philadelphia,” he said. “Nobody may have heard of Skippack anywhere in the country, but we’re going to make sure the world knows what little Skippack is … because we want them to know that when a community comes together, there is no end to what we can actually imagine.”

Residents have also found another way to support their local pharmacy.

“In the last just seven to 10 days, we’ve had about 200 different families transfer their medications over from a chain pharmacy, or say, ‘You know what, I'm not going to support a large mail order pharmacy,’” he said. “‘I’m going to support my community’s pharmacy because I see that these guys are working 20 hours a day for us. They really care about this community and they’re willing to do anything possible.’”

Amin anticipates the next vaccination clinic will tentatively take place this upcoming weekend as long as more doses become available from the state’s health department.

They’ll typically receive shipments of the vaccine doses by Thursday or Friday, and Amin will have a 36-hour window to find a location and assemble volunteers before sending out a link for the eligible participants for the coveted appointment slots.

He does this on short notice to discourage people from sharing the links, preventing others from cutting in line at the expense of eligible 1A participants.

“We’ve told the community as long as we keep getting vaccines, we’re not stopping any time soon,” Amin said.

For more information, visit the “Skippack Pharmacy” Facebook page, or skippackpharmacy.com.

@rachelravina on Twitter

Rachel Ravina is a journalist covering news and lifestyle features in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. She grew up in Blue Bell and graduated from Penn State. She's also a news enthusiast who is passionate about covering topics people want to read.

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