LVHN Preparing to Vaccinate the Community for Free When Public Shipments Become Available
To help ensure everyone in our community has access to the COVID-19 vaccination, Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) will provide vaccinations without charge once vaccinations become available for wide distribution. The decision was announced today by Brian Nester, DO, MBA, FACOEP, President and CEO for LVHN
“We believe it is essential that all citizens have an opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, and cost should not be a barrier,” Nester says. “We will offer this vaccine free of charge to the community so we can help ensure everyone can receive this protective shot to help end the pandemic.”
The vaccine is not yet available to the public. Providing the COVID-19 vaccine to the public will occur in the coming months when supplies are made available for mass vaccination. The plan is determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s phased approach to vaccination. You can learn more at the state’s website at Health.pa.gov. “Our LVHN team is actively working on logistics so we are ready to go once supplies are ready,” Nester says.
We are still in Phase 1 of the state’s plan, focused on vaccinating frontline health care providers. LVHN has vaccinated about 8,000 front-line staff, more than any other health provider in the region. The network continues to vaccinate our health care workers as quickly and safely as possible as the vaccine arrives to ensure they are able to care for our patients and the public. LVHN received an additional 9,000 doses today and will use them as quickly as possible to vaccinate LVHN health care providers and medical staff, and EMS so that we can move deeper into the community when supplies permit.
Currently, two COVID-19 vaccines have been given emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, one from Pfizer/BioNTech and the other from Moderna. Additional vaccine candidates are in various stages of review.
For more details about when the vaccine will be available for the community at LVHN, and how to obtain a second dose, the community is encouraged to sign up for MyLVHN, LVHN’s patient portal that is powered by Epic. “MyLVHN will provide a convenient way to learn about COVID-19 vaccination events as they are scheduled,” Nester says.
COVID-19 vaccine information, including FAQs and videos, is available at LVHN.org/vaccines.
LVHN includes eight hospital campuses, three in Allentown, one in Bethlehem, one in East Stroudsburg, one in Hazleton and two in Pottsville, Pa.; Coordinated Health, which includes two hospital campuses, nearly two dozen multispecialty locations including ambulatory surgery centers and orthopedic injury centers in northeastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey; 26 health centers; numerous primary and specialty care physician practices; 20 ExpressCARE locations including the area’s only Children’s ExpressCARE; pharmacy, imaging, home health, rehabilitation and lab services; and preferred provider services through Valley Preferred. Specialty care includes: trauma care for adults and children, burn care at the Regional Burn Center; kidney and pancreas transplants; perinatal/neonatal, cardiac, cancer, orthopedics, neurology, complex neurosurgery capabilities including national certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, and robotic surgery in 10 specialties. Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute, Lehigh Valley Heart Institute and Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence physicians provide the most advanced treatments. Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute is a member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance, an initiative that helps community providers improve the quality of cancer care and offers access to MSK clinical trials. Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, the community’s only children’s hospital, provides care in more than 30 specialties and general pediatrics. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest is ranked as the region’s No.1 hospital for seven straight years and has been recognized among Pennsylvania’s top six hospitals for seven consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report. Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Cedar Crest, LVH–17th Street and LVH–Muhlenberg are the region’s only Magnet® hospitals for nursing excellence. Additional information is available by visiting LVHN.org or following us on Facebook , Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.