ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As the state gets closer to reaching its vaccination goal. They’re now thanking one Albuquerque man for helping them get shots into arms. He’s credited for getting 40,000 New Mexicans vaccinated since January. There’s been a lot of hero’s throughout the pandemic. Uri Bassan, a pharmacist at the Albertsons in the South Valley, went above and beyond to protect New Mexicans from COVID-19.
“To be able to provide them with that joy, not just to vaccinate them but for everyone to cocoon them in safety has been such an amazing feeling and to be able to provide that joy to so many people in New Mexico is a great feeling,” said Bassan.
Bassan was born and raised in Albuquerque and said there’s no better feeling than protecting his community. The University of New Mexico graduate said since he’s a pharmacist, he was one of the first in the state to get vaccinated back in December. Once he was vaccinated, he immediately wanted to ensure others were too. Primarily seniors, rural communities, and those with disabilities in the state. The state’s Department of Aging and Long Term Care Services caught word of his mission, which then began a partnership between the two.
Bassan has been to more than 100 different cities throughout the state this year, hosting pop-up vaccine clinics at various schools and senior centers.” It would make me smile because I was accomplishing a mission you know, I was saying we’re like the post office, neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow was going to stop us from accomplishing our mission,” said Bassan.
He’s grateful to have 30 other volunteers from the group, Medical Reserve Corps, to help him administer the vaccine statewide.
As for what’s next, Bassan said on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. they plan on doing a vaccine clinic at the Berna Facio Professional Development Center for 1,000 Albuquerque Public School students, who are ages 12 to 16. He said this will be their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. So they’ll be giving out $100 to each student with the state’s new vaccine incentive, which is $100,000 in total.
Bassan said they’ll be accepting walk-ins of all ages at their clinic Thursday and will have Pfizer, Moderna, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines available.