Every shot counts: Vaxi Taxi visits mosque and minaret

Updated: Jun 24

GRANGER, Ia. — Safet Tabaković practically lives at the top of the minaret he is building outside the Es-Selam Mosque here.

So perhaps it was appropriate that, as the wind whipped and he took in a view that stretched for miles on a sunny Sunday morning, the Bosnian-born traveling contractor got his first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine 80 feet off the ground in the minaret.

Ankeny vaccine-distribution startup held the event at the Islamic and Cultural Center Bosniak on Sunday morning and hoped to vaccinate 300 people. Elvedin Sivac, president of the mosque, was among those who got their first shot of the two-dose vaccine.

Casey Villhauer, owner and pharmacist at VaxiTaxi, gives a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to construction worker Safet Tabakovic on Sunday atop a minaret he is building at the Islamic and Cultural Center in Granger. VaxiTaxi, established in July, is an independently-owned vaccination service of eight pharmacists and 30 immunizers who focus on "homebound" populations, like high-risk patients, busy parents and underserved communities. "The way I describe it is an Uber for vaccines," said Villhauer. "[We're] meeting people where they're comfortable." Olivia Sun/The Register

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