‘I’m here for the people’: Pharmacist makes history, administering CT’s first COVID vaccine

Wednesday's Warrior

(WTNH) — MaryLou Galushko is a pharmacist at the North Haven CVS. She recalled a dynamic moment from the beginning of the pandemic:

“There’s one day that sticks out in my mind in the beginning of the pandemic. They just started the mask mandate, I rose up the gate, I had my mask on and an elderly woman who has been coming here for years probably since I first started had her mask on. She took one look at me and began crying and then I began to cry. So from the day I remember going home and telling my husband, ‘I need to do more.’”

She did just that! “Very early on in the pandemic, I was in New Haven testing every day.”

All by choice. The mega site on Long Wharf is where you’d find MaryLou, testing thousands of individuals.

“Because I knew that we had to do more to get back to normal. I’m here for the people.”

Then came, “the vial of hope.” MaryLou went from testing to vaccinating.

“That really was a high point for me.” added Galushko.

Making a difference and making history. On December 18, 2020, “I gave the first covid-19 vaccine to a long-term care resident. That was the first in Connecticut.”

Bringing the state together again, one shot at a time. “People say thank you to me. I say thank you to them.”

Now, more than half of Connecticut residents are fully vaccinated, bringing MaryLou full circle.

“Now if we are fully vaccinated, we don’t have to wear the masks. I feel like I go back to that day last March 2020 when I opened the gate and the woman was there. I really did do what I set out to do.”  

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