Daily Times (Primos, PA)
MASS VACCINATION CLINIC OPENS AT DCCC THIS WEEKEND; GOAL IS TO GET 140,00 SHOTS IN ARMS IN NEXT SEVEN WEEKS:
With the goal of vaccinating 140,000 residents in the next seven weeks, Delaware County will hold its first of six mass vaccinations at Delaware County Community College starting this weekend.
“Delaware County will be operating a large drivethrough clinic at Delaware County Community College every weekend for the next six weeks by appointment only,” said Rosearie Halt, director of Delaware County’s COVID Task Force, adding that those interested must pre-register on the county website at delcopa.gov.
Halt added that the county was working with Mercy Catholic Medical Center - Mercy Fitzgerald Campus to operate another drive-through mass vaccination center with Johnson & Johnson doses that will begin next week.
As of Wednesday, Delaware County has administered more than 50,000 doses of vaccine. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, 84,861 county residents have received their first dose and 87,136 Delaware Countians have been fully vaccinated. In addition to the county, private providers such as CVS, Rite Aid and private health systems also administer vaccine doses.
Halt explained that Delco received 21,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week, as well as 7,000 doses of Moderna and 2,340 doses of Pfizer.
Vaccinations are administered by appointment only through the county website at https://www.delcopa.gov/ covid/vaccination.html or by calling the COVID-19 Call Center at 484-2762100 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The center also accepts emails at email@example.com.
“We encourage you to check the Delco website frequently as vaccine appointments regularly open up,” Halt said, adding that the site hosts a map where all providers - public and private - are throughout the county.
The county is operating five vaccination centers: The Aston Community Center; the Keystone Wellness Center in Chester; the Delaware County Wellness Center in Yeadon; Springfield Hospital and Penn Medicine at Radnor.
The homebound program continues to operate for those unable to leave their homes. To register, residents should visit the county website or contact the COVID-19 Call Center.
Delaware County Medical Advisor Dr. Lisa O’Mahony warned that it is still a race against the virus as numbers of COVID cases have been climbing in Delaware County.
That’s at the same time that CNN identified Pennsylvania as one of five states accounting for 43 percent of the United States’ new cases in the past week. The other states included New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Florida.
“The trend for new COVID-19 cases that our county is concerning,” O’Mahony said, adding that percent positivity has increased from 5.9 to 8.6 percent and daily new cases are up 33.7 per 100,000 people.
She said part of that increase may be tied to the spread of the highly contagious B117 variant that has been known to infect children more easily than the previous strains.
“The B117 is becoming the predominant strain in many regions in the U.S. and it accounted for 46 percent of new infections in Pennsylvania for the week that ended March 28,” O’Mahony said. “Young adults and children are especially susceptible to this strain and, unfortunately, we are months away from immunizing children.”
So, she said we must remain alert to the guidance measures until vaccination is complete.
“I would say if you are not vaccinated, make an appointment to get immunized as soon as you eligible,” O’Mahony said. “And continue to wear a mask and social distance.”
Pennsylvania began vaccinating people in the 1B category Monday. On April 12, it’s anticipated that those in the 1C phase will begin to be vaccinated and by April 19, all adults will be eligible to receive the COVID vaccine in Pennsylvania.
Delaware County officials were thankful for all those involved in the efforts to vaccinate the public.
“I just wanted to quickly highlight how grateful we are for the amazing work being done by our COVID-19 Task Force, Delaware County Emergency Services and the thousands of volunteers in our Delaware County Medical Reserve Corps and Citizens Corps, along with the various departments and agencies that have helped us successfully vaccinate so many residents in the county thus far and will help us take on this challenge of getting almost 100,000 vaccines to our residents over the next six weeks,” council Vice Chairman Dr. Monica Taylor said. “This is really a true testament of how Delco always shows up in full force during times of need.”
She directed anyone interested in helping with the effort to visit https://www. delcocitizencorps.com to sign up to volunteer and they could be trained in as little as one day.
“We will take all the volunteers that will come so please volunteer and thank you all again for all of you who are already out there,” Taylor said.