Family-owned pharmacy in Panama Park receives COVID-19 vaccine

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. — A family-owned pharmacy in Panama Park received a limited supply of the COVID-19 vaccine from the Duval County Department of Health.

Action News Jax’s Alicia Tarancon reports on how Panama Pharmacy is working to help vaccinate the underserved communities in the area.

Barbara Osteen grew up on Trout River in the Panama Park area.

For the past 60 years, Panama Pharmacy has been her “go-to” pharmacy.

“We love the Panama. I have neighbors I went to high school with right here in back of Panama,” Osteen said.

On Thursday, the pharmacy called her to let her know she could come get the Moderna vaccine.

[ COVID-19: The Vaccine -- CLICK HERE for more information ]

“I’m jumping up and down with excitement,” Osteen said.

She had been trying to get the vaccine at the state-run Regency vaccination site, but it hasn’t been easy.

“I’ve been on the phone for a month trying to get an appointment. They do take your information, but nobody calls you,” she said.

In order to qualify for the vaccine, you must live in Duval County and be 65 and older or a frontline health care worker.

Panama Pharmacy said it received 200 doses of the vaccine to really focus on the poor and underserved communities in the area.

[ Coronavirus vaccine: County-by-county plan for Northeast Florida, Southeast Georgia ]

“We’re pretty much one of the only pharmacies here in this area to have the Moderna vaccine so the health department was gracious enough to give us a limited supply, just to see how we supply it to the patients in our community,” AJ Oliver, a staff pharmacist at Panama Pharmacy, said.

The owner, Kevin Duane, told Action News Jax it’s the pharmacy’s mission to make sure the lower income patients aren’t marginalized and have a chance to get vaccinated too.

After Osteen received her shot, she got a card with her second appointment and will return 28 days later.

“I want to be safe and I think everybody needs to get it so we can all be safe,” she said.

Panama Pharmacy said if it’s able to show the Duval County Health Department that it can help vaccinate underserved communities, they’ll be able to get another supply of vaccines at the location.

For more information how to make an appointment click HERE.