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PACS Senior Advocates, Educates Community about COVID-19 Vaccine Benefits

Pulaski Academy & Central Schools senior Josh Carguello is on a mission to help put society on the fast track back to normalcy through his senior project to encourage community members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.


“The main focus of this project is to alleviate some of the stress and ambiguity regarding the vaccine,” Carguello said. “I’m spreading the message that it’s safe and there have been multiple government surveys to support this I’ve helped to promote.”


The three-sport athlete, who competes on the school’s cross country, track and basketball teams, had planned to organize a basketball camp for elementary and middle-school students before the initial project was hindered by an increase in restrictions for indoor sports.


“I came to the decision that it would be better to work on the vaccine distribution and spread awareness about it so that, eventually someday, we will be able to work on those indoor camps again,” Carguello said.


His project began in January at a PACS staff COVID-19 vaccination clinic where he familiarized employees with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker app which offers personalized check-ins and allows individuals to report post-vaccination side effects. 


In February, Carguello distributed surveys to PACS staff, asking questions regarding their symptoms and opinions about the COVID-19 vaccine. He received about 150 responses and the results determined roughly 90 percent of district staff had been vaccinated by February.


“It’s really something to be proud of as a community,” he said. “I think everyone can agree they want everything back to normal as soon as possible so I hope my project helped out with that.”


Carguello plans to earn an undergraduate degree in environmental health from SUNY ESF, following graduation. After completion of his undergraduate degree, he aims to continue is education at SUNY Upstate Medical University earn his medical degree and become a family practitioner.