NORTH CORNWALL TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — As public health officials continue the push for Pennsylvanians to get vaccinated, demand has declined greatly.
That’s why the Lebanon County community vaccination site will soon close.
One big problem abc27 continues to talk about is vaccine hesitancy, but the lack of demand for these big sites could also be due to more availability elsewhere.
For more information about how to schedule a COVID vaccine appointment, or for the latest on COVID vaccines in Pennsylvania, visit abc27’s Vaccinate PA page.
Rows of chairs sit empty at the Lebanon County community vaccination site, with only 10% of appointments being filled.
“When we first opened this site was seeing fully booked schedules for the first three weeks and then demand significantly dropped off,” said Bob Dowd, director of the Lebanon County Department of Emergency Services.
CNS Occupational Medicine has administered more than 22,000 doses at the site so far.
“Today is mostly second doses,” Dowd said. “I believe we have about 1,000 second-dose appointments scheduled but only about 200 first dose appointments scheduled.”
WellSpan Health isn’t saying how many people they’ve vaccinated at the site, but across the entire system, they’ve administered more than 293,000 doses.
Those getting the vaccine are happy to be protected.
“I feel good that I got it, that way I know that I ain’t gonna get it as bad, which I never had it yet and I don’t want to take the chance of getting it,” Dale Waltermyer said.
But not everyone feels that way and Dowd says Pa. needs to find out how to overcome that.
“Vaccine hesitancy is what everyone’s talking about. That’s huge and I know that’s a big piece, but there’s also vaccine availability that’s played into this. You can walk across to CVS now,” Dowd said.
Michael Koblish drove almost an hour for his shot from Chester County.
“Listen to what the scientists are telling you, that it’s a safe vaccine, that it’s helpful for yourself, it’s helpful for your family and it’s helpful for your community at large,” Koblish said.
CNS is planning mobile clinics to bring the vaccine to different businesses and groups. And WellSpan will continue appointments at Good Samaritan Hospital.
Starting May 1, WellSpan will begin accepting walk-ins at Good Samaritan from noon to 3 p.m. and will continue to be accepted from noon to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
“This site closing does not negatively impact Lebanon County’s ability to get vaccinated,” Dowd said. “The vaccine’s readily available. That’s something we look at and we would not be closing this if that were a concern.”
The site will remain open for at least one more month for those getting Moderna doses on Thursday.
Appointments are still available. To schedule an appointment, click here.
If they see a significant demand, they can pivot, but right now they’re not seeing the need.
Appointments can be scheduled online at mywellspan.org or by calling 855-851-4641.