Meet the book club that’s helping to quickly vaccinate its town

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Meet the book club that’s helping to quickly vaccinate its town

Jan 26 2021

The 10 members of the Fabulous Ladies Book Club in Ruidoso, N.M. now meet online, but in recent weeks, they have found a new project that gives them good reason to see one another beyond their screens: They are helping to vaccinate their town.

It all started on Dec. 28, when their phones lit up with a message from Keri Rath, one of the club’s founding members and one of the few OB/GYNs in this mountain town of roughly 7,900. Her husband (chief of aerospace medicine of the New Mexico Air National Guard) had access to free vaccines from the state's department of health, but needed help distributing it.

In five days, the group turned Stephen’s private practice into a pop-up vaccine clinic, and since then have administered more than 2,400 vaccine shots covering about a third of the town.

Keri Rath hopes others — in book clubs or not — will see that the pandemic relief effort is not just about putting needles into arms. “Yes, there are those of us who are very skilled at that,” she said. “But there are a lot of steps that a lot of people can do, so maybe don’t be scared away from helping because you can’t do that final piece.”

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