'Light at the end of the tunnel': Milwaukee pharmacy receives first shipment of Pfizer vaccine

Posted at 8:30 PM, Jan 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-18 21:30:13-05

MILWAUKEE — Hayat Pharmacy in Milwaukee received its very first shipment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Monday afternoon.

"This is the light at the end of the tunnel," said Dr. Hashim Zaibak, CEO and Founder of Hayat Pharmacy.

150 doses of hope were delivered right to the Hayat Pharmacy's door - a moment so important, Dr. Zaibak made sure to accept the delivery himself.

"As a pharmacist, this is a huge milestone," said Dr. Zaibak.

With the vials in hand, employees went right to work administering vaccinations to those who were eligible to receive them, which, starting Monday, now includes those in the Phase 1B group, such as police officers and health care workers who are not affiliated with a hospital.

"We think more facilities offering the vaccine throughout Milwaukee is better for the whole population and patients in general," said President of Hayat Pharmacy, Tamir Kaloti.

"We’ve had a lot of healthcare workers, pharmacists, and nurses, dental hygienists who work out in the community who signed up," said pharmacist, Dr. Dimmy Sokhal.

Kelli Geronime was one of the first to get the vaccine at Hayat Pharmacy. She's a licensed clinical social worker for DaVita Dialysis.

"I feel like it's our duty to protect our community. I wanted to protect myself as well as my other coworkers and other patients, as well as my family," said Geronime.

For Dr. Zaibak, getting the vaccine here is just the first step. Getting it into as many arms as possible, he says, will require more work than just giving the shot itself.

"When we are bombarded with misinformation, that sometimes can make us take a step back and say I don’t know if I want to get this vaccine. We’re not going to be able to stop this pandemic until we get to the 70% mark. That 70% of the population that’s 250 million people that’s a lot of people that we have to vaccinate," said Dr. Zaibak.

The pharmacy expects to receive an even bigger shipment of the Pfizer vaccine soon. Those who got vaccinated Monday will be able to come back to the pharmacy for their second dose of the vaccine in three weeks.

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip

Coronavirus in Wisconsin

More data on Wisconsin's vaccination progress here.

Find a vaccination site here.

Check out county-by-county coronavirus case numbers here.

More information: COVID-19 on the Wisconsin DHS website

Latest news and headlines here.