Bushard’s opens COVID-19 vaccine site at former Laguna Drug storefront

Marshal Abdullah, Bushard’s pharmacist in charge, prepped for vaccinations in the former Laguna Drug building last week. Courtesy of Laguna Beach

Bushard’s Pharmacy opened a COVID-19 vaccine site at the former Laguna Drug site at 239 Broadway on Tuesday.

Pharmacists will be vaccinating Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. until they receive a bigger supply of the Moderna vaccine and then will expand hours availability.

Laguna Beach city staffers recently approved a temporary use permit from property manager Fritz Dudda Co. to provide the 14,378-square-foot storefront, which is owned by Broadway Laguna Partners LP, at no cost to Bushard’s as a COVID-19 vaccination site. Bushard’s has a five-month lease for the former drug store, said Marisa Fader, vice President of Bushard’s Pharmacy

“We’d like to thank the City of Laguna Beach and especially Assistant City Manager Shohreh Dupuis for helping us secure this vaccination site for our community,” Fader said in a prepared statement. “The City has proven a great partner to help us ensure the health and safety of our residents and community.”

Last week, Bushard’s staffers had set up the vaccine clinic, which includes furniture, PPE supplies, vaccine cold storage, and an online scheduling platform at bushardspharmacy.com.

The Centers for Disease Control approved Bushard’s to administer COVID-19 vaccines several months ago but the pharmacy staff received their first shipment last week. They put shots into the arms of 10 people and another 55 on Tuesday, Fader said. She expects the supply to increase within a month as customers return for their second dose.

Bushard’s pursued a satellite vaccine site because it would have been difficult to for customers to social distance, Fader said. After some discussions with city officials, Bushard’s inked a free short-term lease with Fritz Dudda.

“A cost was never really discussed,” Fader said. “I think we were all trying to work toward helping the community.”

Laguna Drug filled its last prescription in June 2019 after 15 years in business.

Councilmember Toni Iseman said it’s wonderful to hear Bushard’s is using the vacant space to help vaccinate the community.

“They’ve been one of the original businesses in the downtown and I’m glad we’re in this situation that we’re able to utilize them and remind people to use the businesses besides the restaurants,” Iseman said,

On Tuesday, a Bushard’s customer received their first dose of Moderna on their 18th birthday—the first day they were eligible for this brand. The downtown location also provides a convenient vaccine site to elderly residents who are reluctant to drive far from home.

“I think the best thing is we are able to offer a service to our community that we aren’t seeing offered anywhere else,” Fader said.

This story is developing and will be updated as necessary.

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