Potentially thousands of Dauphin County residents will receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a new drive-through site in the coming weeks.
County officials, along with representatives from UPMC and HACC, announced today that a mass vaccination clinic will open on Tuesday in a Harrisburg Area Community College parking lot.
“We are excited to have this clinic up and running and look forward to getting shots into the arms of so many Dauphin County residents,” Dauphin County Commissioner Mike Pries said.
The county first announced the clinic in late February, but at the time, did not have access to enough doses. According to Pries, there is still an issue on the supply end, but that gap is beginning to shrink, which allowed for the opening of the clinic this week.
A drive-through clinic will operate from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday. Those who are eligible for the vaccine in phase 1A and live in Dauphin County, can register through UPMC’s website to set up an appointment. Vaccinations will only be given to those with appointments.
UPMC plans to administer 1,700 shots over the course of the two days, said Lou Baverso, HACC’s chief operating officer and president of its Central Region.
The clinic will continue on Tuesday and Wednesday of the following week, and UPMC hopes to increase its number of doses to 2,000 per day. From there, officials will continue to provide the vaccine, hopefully administering more doses each day for more days each week.
“We aim to meet people where they are and to vaccinate as many individuals as we possibly can with our available supply,” said Dr. John Goldman, VPMA and infectious disease specialist at UPMC Pinnacle.
Upon arrival at HACC’s west end parking lot, residents will drive through a path designated by traffic cones, Baverso said. Someone will meet them to verify their registration before they pull through one of several lanes under a large tent to receive the Moderna vaccine. They will then pull ahead and wait in their car for 15 minutes to make sure they have no adverse reaction. They will then need to schedule an appointment for 28 days later to receive a second shot.
UPMC has a waiting list of over 10,000 county residents already who will get appointments first, said Christina Persson, vice president of UPMC Pinnacle.
Once they vaccinate a significant number of county residents and have increased access to doses, Persson said they will open the clinic to surrounding counties.
“This is a huge step forward in putting this pandemic behind all of us,” Pries said. “There is light at the end of the tunnel.”
For more information or to register for a COVID-19 vaccine, visit https://vaccine.upmc.com/.
Support quality local journalism. Become a Friend of TheBurg!