Good appointment availability at new Franklin Co. large-scale vax site

Vaccinate PA

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Hard to believe it’s still less than a month since Alison Beam, the acting secretary of health, explained why Pennsylvania couldn’t yet move beyond Phase 1A, at least not fully.

“We do not have enough vaccine to immediately vaccinate all of those individuals who are eager to and waiting to be vaccinated,” Beam said, speaking March 25 at an event in York. That same day, that county’s large-scale vaccination site had opened, and all appointments were long gone.

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Since then, the state spent one week in Phase 1B and then one day in Phase 1C before opening eligibility to everyone 16 and older. And four weeks after York County’s site opened with not enough supply to meet demand, Franklin County’s site opened with plenty of availability — a steady morning rush shortly after it opened at 11 a.m., according to staff at the site, gave way to a trickle of people seen by abc27 News later in the day.

WellSpan, which operated the site, expected to vaccinate about 100 people Thursday, said Stephanie Andreozzi, co-lead of WellSpan’s vaccination team.

Dave Shaffer, there with his wife Barbara to get their first doses of Pfizer, said he didn’t hesitate to make an appointment once the site opened not far up the road from their home in Greencastle, Pa.

“If not for yourself, then for the people around you,” Shaffer said. “That’s what I’m thinking.”

But not everyone is as willing or able — some remain skeptical, and others lack the time or the transportation to get to sites — and Andreozzi said WellSpan is focusing on educating the skeptical and reaching the hard-to-reach, for example by holding vaccination clinics at churches and other organizations.

“With what we’ve all been through this past year, I think this is definitely light at the end of the tunnel,” said Jacob Crider, Franklin County’s director of emergency services. “The more people that can get vaccinated, I think the quicker we’ll be able to put this pandemic to rest.”

Franklin County secured the site at the mostly vacant Chambersburg Mall, near the old Burlington store.

To make an appointment, click here or call 1-855-851-3641.

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