Baltimore Community Flu Shot Clinic Draws Hundreds

The Chesed Fund and Project Ezra Community Flu Clinic.

After a rained-out Sunday, November 1st, The Chesed Fund and Project Ezra, in coordination with Rite Aid, ran the first annual

All-Day Marathon on Sunday, November 8th. It was held at Bnos Yisroel, from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, to accommodate community members’ busy Sunday schedules. Foreseeing the need for the community to better protect ourselves and boost our immunity during the pandemic, Frank Storch, director of the organizations, started planning for the event months before. “Our healthcare systems and employees have been working tirelessly for us for almost nine months now. It’s our responsibility to them and each other to avoid overwhelming them when flu season hits. And now with the recent surge in Covid-19 cases across the country and the world, even more so.”

The overwhelming response resulted in over 400 community members, socially distanced and masked, of course, getting vaccinated. Originally, the clinic was scheduled to be outdoors in tents, however since rain was in the forecast, even for the rescheduled November 8th rain date, it was held indoors. The pharmacists, however, were very considerate and even administered shots outdoors to immunocompromised people who had not entered any public buildings for months.

Rivkah Hain commented, “When I heard there was a flu clinic where my husband and I could take our older kids and get shots, I made reservations right away. I did not want to have to visit doctor’s offices or pharmacies and have any unnecessary exposure to anyone not well. I hope they do it again next year even if imy”h this corona nightmare will be a thing of the past. From making the reservation to getting in and out of the building quickly, it was so streamlined and simple.”

Shira Pepper, Creative Director at AMF Creative said, “The Chesed Fund and Project Ezra contacted me a few weeks ago and informed me that they were rolling out this flu clinic. They weren’t sure if there would be enough time to quickly upgrade their website to allow for a more user-friendly experience and an easy reservation process, but our web development team got right on it. We were happy to be able to play a role in helping to keep our community safe.”

To accommodate women’s need for modesty, a cubicle was made available where a female pharmacist administered shots to any women or girls that wanted privacy. There were also special shots available for seniors 65 and older. A reduced rate for anyone without insurance was also provided. The clinic was so successful that towards the end of the event the Rite Aid pharmacists even ran out of syringes.

“For years, I have always wanted to help the community by setting up an easy and efficient method to get immunizations, but now it made even more sense than ever before. Having masks and other discounted PPE available at the clinic also made it easy for anyone who needed to stock up some more since unfortunately as we can see the virus is not ready to let up yet.” Frank continued, “What was also really nice was the offer to volunteer and help out by our community pharmacists offering. Everything was already setup, but next year, we plan to ask them to join our efforts.”