LVHN Hosts Region’s First Drive-Through COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic
BY HANNAH ROPP
When Nancy Roth of Macungie turned on the morning news and saw that cars were already lining up at Dorney Park for the COVID-19 vaccination clinic that was starting at 8 a.m., she kicked her morning routine into overdrive. “I got here early for my appointment, but this was a well-oiled machine” she laughed. “I’ve been counting down the days to this.”
Roth was one of many community members who registered to receive their COVID-19 vaccine at Lehigh Valley Health Network’s (LVHN) first drive-through vaccination clinic. The event was held for those 75 and older.
LVHN is no stranger to this type of event. Each fall LVHN holds a drive-through flu shot clinic at Dorney Park where nearly 5,000 community members receive their flu shot.
Community members 75 and older came to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine at LVHN’s drive-through vaccination clinic at Dorney Park.
Convenience and safety top priority
According to LVHN Chair of Medicine Tim Friel, MD, the drive-through COVID-19 vaccination clinic offers community members a safe and efficient way to receive their vaccine. “Our goal with the masked drive-through campaign is to create the safest possible way to have community members get their vaccine,” he says. “This is a great option because they stay in their cars and have limited contact with others.”
MyLVHN, LVHN’s secure patient portal, remains the quickest and easiest path to the COVID-19 vaccine. In fact, many say they registered for the event through MyLVHN. “I actually signed my mom up for MyLVHN because I heard it was the best way to get the vaccine and I got a notice the next day that she was eligible so I quickly signed her up,” says Bridget Eripret of Allentown.
Eripret’s mother, Vera Cody also of Allentown, says she was relieved to receive the vaccine and was pleased with the entire process. “I feel happy and blessed. I’m really glad to see such great organization and everything moving so smoothly and pleasantly.”
The drive-through clinic was divided into three areas. An appointment confirmation and check-in area, vaccination site and a holding area where those who are vaccinated are required to wait for 15 minutes to ensure there is no reaction.
More vaccine drive-through clinics in the future
Friel says that LVHN is already planning more drive-through COVID-19 vaccine clinics as vaccine supply increases. “Our goal is to deploy drive-through clinics at several other sites through the multiple counties we serve in the weeks ahead,” he says.
The importance of being vaccinated wasn’t lost on those at the event. “I’m very happy. I hope everyone has the opportunity to get vaccinated and follow through on this. I think it’s really important to do so,” says William Higgins of Emmaus.
Even after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, people must continue to wear a mask in public, wash hands frequently and stay socially distant until the majority of our community is vaccinated.
For more details about vaccine supply and eligibility, visit LVHN.org/vaccines.