Lancaster mass vaccination center is registering people to get COVID-19 vaccines
A community vaccination site at Park City Center is set to open Wednesday with 5,000-doses taken from Lancaster General Health locations.
(Lancaster) — A community vaccination site in the former Bon-Ton department store at Park City Center is taking appointments for people who qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine.
The clinic will open Wednesday with a few hundred people scheduled, said Vaccinate Lancaster Coalition spokesman Brett Marcy.
“The goal would be for us to gradually ramp up our vaccinations based on the supply we can get from the state—and we have the capacity to do as many as 6,000 vaccines per day,” said Marcy.
Whether the vaccination center will ever reach that daily capacity remains uncertain. The state has not allocated any doses to the site.
Each week, the Pennsylvania Department of Health routes hundreds of thousands of doses of vaccines to hundreds of sites in Pennsylvania. The department has seen a steady increase in vaccine availability in recent weeks. However, demand from those sites greatly exceeds supply, said department spokeswoman Maggi Barton.
“There is not a specific allocation for this location because Pennsylvania is still not getting enough vaccine from the federal government to meet the requests of our providers,” Barton said. “For example, this week … vaccine providers requested a combined 424,570 first doses of vaccine. That is nearly double the total amount of first doses (253,970) that Pennsylvania is being allocated for the entire week.”
Until it gets a state allocation, the site is using more than 5,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine allocated to other Lancaster General clinics, Marcy said.
People do not have to be from Lancaster County to sign up. They do have to be eligible under Phase 1A—meaning they are 65 or older or have a qualifying condition or circumstance.
Those interested can register for an appointment at VaccinateLancaster.org or by calling 717-588-1020. Vaccinations do not cost money nor require insurance.
Marcy urged people to remain patient, with the coalition expecting a flood of people signing up. “It’s really important that you don’t give up. We know how important vaccination is.”
Brett Sholtis is a health reporter for WITF/Transforming Health. Sholtis is the 2021-2022 Reveal Benjamin von Sternenfels Rosenthal Grantee for Mental Health Investigative Journalism with the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism. His award-winning work on problem areas in mental health policy and policing helped to get a woman moved from a county jail to a psychiatric facility. Sholtis is a University of Pittsburgh graduate and a Pennsylvania Army National Guard Kosovo campaign veteran.