Upper Darby, PA – 520 people from southeastern Delaware County received their first Covid-19 vaccination shots on Friday at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church. “This all happened very quickly. We found out about it on Monday evening, and the phones began to ring 24 hours a day,” said Reverend Grigoris Gilbert. St. Demetrios was chosen as the first Greek Orthodox Church in the area to host a vaccine clinic. Its geographic location made it a perfect partner.
Crozer Health System hosted the event via Delaware County Memorial Hospital, which is just minutes away. At 9:30 AM, long lines had already formed outside the gymnasium, whose doors opened at 10:00 AM. The church parishioners and medical representatives from the area went to work taking names and checking in those scheduled for the vaccine.
“The idea was to get the vaccine out beyond the hospitals and pharmacies into underserved parts of the community,” added Father Gilbert. Olga Tsaousidis, a parish member of St. Demetrios, who also works as a pharmacist at Delaware County Memorial Hospital, played a pivotal role in bringing the clinic to the church.
Booths were set up in the church’s small hall, where people were escorted and given their shot. After fifteen minutes of resting, they were allowed to leave. The second shot will be distributed on April 2nd, 2021, at St. Demetrios to those who took part in the first series of vaccines.