When the phone calls continued ringing incessantly at Carl Savoie’s Opelousas-area pharmacy last week, he had an idea about what to expect in the following days.
Savoie's initial expectations were apparently not underestimated.
Information somehow spread that Savoie’s Thrifty-Way pharmacy had received a massive shipment of about 1,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and phone inquiries about when he planned to distribute the product would not abate.
Then, Savoie experienced something that he will never forget.
Over a two-day period last weekend, Savoie, his assistant pharmacist and several other Opelousas pharmacists dispensed his entire shipment of the vaccine in a church parking lot south of the city’s corporate limits.
With the assistance of city police, a Catholic Church parish monsignor and volunteers who helped maintain an orderly method of distribution, Savoie said St. Landry Parish residents were given 975 COVID-19 vaccinations until amounts were depleted.
“I feel certain that we got about 2,000 phone calls last Wednesday,” Savoie said. “Somehow word got out that we had a large amount of the vaccine and people were interested in how they could get their shots.”
Savoie said his vaccine supplier notified him that because his business was considered a high-volume enterprise, his Thrifty-Way would receive more than the sporadic 100 dosages his pharmacy had normally received since the product became available.
Since the first week of January, Savoie said, his employees have been compiling a list of people ages 70 and older who would be eligible or who requested the vaccine and providing them with shots as vaccines were available. Continue Reading