Last week, a Southborough resident held a Covid-19 vaccine clinic. Dr. Louis Kuchnir used his nearby Kuchnir Dermatology to vaccinate close to 100 people, including at least 65 public school nurses.
Dr. Kuchnir received his own vaccination last month. As Matt Shearer of WBZ Boston’s News Radio reported, afterwards:
He felt good about it, but not too good.
“I was haunted by the fact that the employees that I send into harm’s way, that I couldn’t get them the vaccination that I just received.”
So, after a little research Dr. Kuchnir learned that he was eligible to administer the vaccine himself. He signed up on the state’s website and just this past Thursday, two big boxes showed up from Moderna.
“I think the only thing I had to contribute was buying a new freezer for my practice.”
Over the weekend, WBZ brief spots covering Dr. Kuchnir’s effort.* I spoke with the doctor directly to fill in a few more details.
After applying to hold the clinic, Dr. Kuchnir managed to get his staff signed up to be vaccinated this week. So, when he received two boxes of the vaccines on Thursday morning, he wanted to ensure the doses weren’t wasted.
In just over 12 hours, he managed to have a clinic set up to vaccinate people eligible in Phase 1A of the state’s distribution plan.
As a Southborough resident, the doctor reached out to our Town’s Police and Fire chief. Their first responders were already set to be taken care of. (According to a Facebook post this morning, Southborough police and fire members were among those vaccinated through a clinic organized by the Westborough Fire Department this week. It covered first responders for five area towns.)
In his conversations, Dr. Kuchnir learned that school nurses were having trouble receiving vaccines. So, he reached out to our district’s superintendent. Superintendent Gregory Martineau asked if he could have other school superintendents call Dr. Kuchnir directly. (Although a few of our nurses participated, most were apparently covered by another option.)
The doctor heard from eight superintendents. In addition to inviting school nurses to be vaccinated, Dr. Kuchnir recruited volunteers to help run the clinic out of his Marlborough office. Volunteers were to show up at 8:00 that night and patients at 9:00 pm.
Over the course of two days, 98 people were vaccinated including 65 or more school nurses.** Dr. Kuchnir tells me that nurses were from all around, including the Nashoba district.
The doctor told WBZ that vaccine recipients were beyond appreciative:
When I went out to the parking lot and told them we were ready to vaccinate the first few people there was spontaneous applause
Dr. Kuchnir told WBZ, at the end:
I was tired. But I really felt special that I was in the right place at the right time to help those that help others. . .
It was just so rewarding, the number of grateful nurses who were walking out of my office. That’s something I’ve never experienced.
The Moderna vaccine is a two dose process with a four week gap between. Dr. Kuchnir confirmed that he is responsible for providing the second dose to patients vaccinated through his clinic. He anticipates receiving another batch in time.
*You can hear the WBZ spots below:
**In case you are wondering about the number. Of the ten bottles, one apparently arrived broken. Each bottle should be able to provide approx 11 doses, but there was a little spoilage. They were able to vaccinate 98 people with what they received.