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Grand Care Pharmacy gives community a boost

Amid the surge of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, Grand Care Pharmacy in Maspeth is ready to serve the community.
“At Grand Care Pharmacy, we are giving out booster shots to eligible people of all ages and communities,” said Dr. Trevor Latchminarain, pharmacist and owner at Grand Care Pharmacy. “We vaccinate approximately 60 to 80 patients daily with the booster shots. We are so happy to see that so many people have confidence in the vaccine, while at the same time ensuring that our communities are staying safe.”
Latchminarain says patients have been eager to get their booster shots and the pharmacy has been getting positive feedback from patients.
“The only requirement for getting the booster shot is ensuring that you are within the eligible time frame to obtain it,” Latchminarain says. “If you received two doses of Pfizer or Moderna, you would need to wait six months after your last dose. If you were vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson, you will need to wait two months from your last dose.”
A 2009 graduate of the St. John’s School of Pharmacy, he says some have received their COVID-19 booster shot and then came back for a flu shot the following week.
“About 25 percent of the patients who received the booster shot are also taking their flu shot,” Latchminarain says. “Some are not comfortable taking both at the same time, but they do come back for both ultimately.”
Grand Care Pharmacy also offers PCR testing. The test involves a simple nasal swab, and results are returned in less than 24-hours, making it convenient for people who need a COVID test for work or travel.
“PCR testing is free to all,” Latchminarain said. “You can fill out the form at grandcarerx.com or simply walk-in.”
Grand Care Pharmacy opened in Maspeth in July of 2019. In November, Martin Luther School honored Latchminarain with the “Shot in the Arm” Award for his efforts to support the student body.
Latchminarain has provided weekly testing to the school and used their parking lot as a weekend pop-up site for testing and vaccinations.
“Trevor has been a great addition to Maspeth’s business community and a great friend to Martin Luther School,” said executive director Jim Regan. “We were honored to recognize him.”

Staff at Grand Care Pharmacy stays poised

Since joining the staff at Grand Care Pharmacy inside of Key Food at 66-56 Grand Avenue in Maspeth as a nurse, Meliz Jimenez says she is enjoying working with the people in the community where she lives at a time when she is most needed.
“I remember in February I had someone say to me, ‘Thank you for saving my life’ and all I did was give them the vaccine,” says Jimenez, a Maspeth resident. “It was really touching.”
Jimenez, a recent graduate of St. Paul’s School of Nursing on Queens Boulevard, joined the staff at the full-service pharmacy to help in the vaccination effort. Since then, she’s worked through the highs, lows and resurgences of COVID-19.
“Back in February we were doing like 70 to 100 vaccinations a day,” says Jimenez, who grew up in East Elmhurst. “Now we’re doing about 20 vaccinations a day, but we’re seeing an uptick in testing. We did about 70 tests yesterday.”
According to the COVID Data Tracker on the Centers for Disease Control website, more than 1.5 million people in Queens have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and just under 1.4 million people have been fully vaccinated. The number of fully vaccinated people in Queens represents 62 percent of the borough’s population.
As the Delta variant presents challenges for healthcare workers, Grand Care Pharmacy has made an effort to relay the most current and accurate information to the community.
“A lot of people are concerned about the spikes and there’s a lot of myths and controversial information out there,” Jimenez says. “People come here very misinformed, and we do our best to inform them the best that we can.”
The pharmacy has focused on helping those who want to be vaccinated by not requiring appointments for tests or vaccines, even making house calls to do so.
“We’ve been going out and administering vaccines to patients at their homes because its been hard for some to come out with the recent heat waves,” says Dr. Trevor Latchminarain, pharmacist and owner at Grand Care Pharmacy. “My staff and I have been on the frontlines serving our community from the beginning of the pandemic, caring for patients who tested positive, building awareness about vaccinations, and maintaining communication with our patients to ensure that they receive care”.

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