Port Jeff Station pharmacy forced to turn away hundreds after mistakenly being placed on COVID-19 vaccine list

Pharmacist Michael Nastro says in almost 20 years of owning Fairview Pharmacy and Homecare Supply in Port Jefferson Station, he's never had a day like the one he had Monday.

News 12 Staff

Jan 12, 2021, 3:42 AM

Updated 1,195 days ago

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A small pharmacy in Port Jefferson was swamped by customers looking to get the COVID-19 vaccine after they say the shop unknowingly wound up on a state list to distribute the shot.
Pharmacist Michael Nastro says in almost 20 years of owning Fairview Pharmacy and Homecare Supply in Port Jefferson Station, he's never had a day like the one he had Monday.
"It was bad. Because you know we had to fill our other prescriptions, we had to take care of our patients and it was really hindered today, doctors couldn't get through, patients couldn't get through, so it was an experience," sats Nastro.
Nastro says he and his employees were shocked to learn that the mom-and-pop pharmacy was listed on the state's website as a place to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Suffolk, even though the state did not send them any doses.
Nastro says calls, emails and lines of people flooded the pharmacy. He says they spent the day turning away hundreds of people, many of them elderly.
"I mean I still have probably a 175 messages, unanswered messages, on my phone and probably another 50 to 75 emails I haven't been able to answer, it's been a disaster," he says.
When he does get a vaccine shipment from the state, Nastro says he says he plans to set up an online appointment system.
He also added that the state needs to ramp up its vaccine distribution, especially in Suffolk. Nastro says Monday showed him just how incredible the demand is in the county.
"The state just needs to get more vaccinators out there, more vaccine centers, they have to do that," says Nastro. "We'll get through this, but there's going to be a lot of backlogs, people looking to get this vaccination."
The owner of Fairview Pharmacy says he doesn't know when he'll get doses, but hopes the vaccine comes later this week.


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