To the Editor,
For the 300 Manchester and Essex residents who received their COVID-19 vaccinations last Saturday at Sacred Heart, there was a decided and collective feeling of relief and expectation of better times ahead. In a few short weeks they’ll be immune from the virus and well on their way back to normalcy.
The event was viewed by all as extremely well run. Everyone was enormously appreciative of all the work that went into the day’s eventwith few realizing that the vaccination clinic was the brainchild of Manchester resident and owner of Allen’s Pharmacy, Jay Sibulkin. Jay has been tireless in his efforts to combat the virus with his amazingly well run COVID-19 testing system. He recently connected with Conley’s Drug Store in Ipswich and jump started the event which we all experienced.
Once the concept was proposed, Nancy Hammond of the Manchester Council on Aging took over and ran what was one of the finest events I witnessed in my 30+ years in town. Nancy organized the infrastructure surrounding the actual vaccinations. She worked with Fr. Paul Flammia at Sacred Heart who generously donated the use of the Parish Hall and she recruited numerous volunteers through the Town Government and the Manchester Essex Rotary Club. The volunteers manned the parking lot, the check-in desk, the sign in tables, the post vaccination waiting area and the exits. They did virtually everything except giving the actual vaccination itself. Representatives of the Town Board of Health, Police and Fire Departments along with the Town Administrator and Harbormaster were there to lend a helping hand as well.
Nancyhad singlehandedly put together a comprehensive plan for people to sign up for their shots and was there to check each and every one of them in when they arrived.To say she worked tirelessly is an understatement. Her selfless commitment to this successful event is greatly appreciated by many. Thanks to everyone who helped. Well-deserved kudos!
Incidentally 60 or so of the attendees had to use the lift upon arrival. I can’t imagine those 80- and 90-year-olds making the trek to Gillette or Fenway. The Commonwealth of Mass could learn a great deal from what we experienced here in Manchester.