EAST NORRITON TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) — As the COVID-19 pandemic strengthens its grip with a rise in cases and threatening variants, people in East Norriton Township are turning to one man for answers.
“Have you done a COVID test before?” Manzil Panchal asked one of his customers at East Norriton Pharmacy.
His three-aisle pharmacy in a strip mall off of Germantown Pike may be small, but he’s a giant in the community.
“If I’m not doing it, who else is going to do it?” Panchal added.
He was one of the first Montgomery County providers to get the COVID-19 vaccine back in January. Between mass clinics, home visits, and walk-in appointments, he and his team have delivered more than 22,000 shots.
“Being an independent pharmacy, we were doing a thousand shot clinics in the area, so that way, by doing those clinics, we vaccinated quite a number of people,” he said.
His store now offers COVID-19 testing and booster shots for the immunocompromised.
Panchal is originally from India and still has family there. He saw the way the Delta variant tore through his home country before coming to the U.S.
Two of his loved ones died from COVID. He doesn’t want anyone else to experience that devastation.”The only way to fight this disease is just the vaccine,” he said.
For Panchal, the last 18 months have been physically and emotionally exhausting, but he says the people in his community are pushing him through.