11
March
2021
|
21:53 PM
America/New_York

LVHN Vaccinates 3,600 People at COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic

BY KATIE CAVENDER 

Optimism filled the air as cars lined the Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom parking lot. The steady flow of people and LVHN’s seamless coordination sent a clear message to our community – better days are ahead.

With more than 20 years of experience running drive-through flu vaccination clinics and with two previous COVID-19 vaccination clinics, it’s clear that Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) is no stranger to mass vaccination. March 11 marked the largest COVID-19 vaccination event held by the health network to date.

Two main factors made this event possible – LVHN’s experience with mass vaccination and vaccine supply from the state of Pennsylvania. “Today’s a big day,” says Alex Benjamin, MD, LVHN Chief Infection Control and Prevention Officer. “It speaks to the capacity for LVHN to handle this size of event.”

At the vaccination event, 3,600 people in Pennsylvania’s Phase 1A received a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine for free. Within a few hours of its announcement on Tuesday, this by-appointment event was fully booked.

For some people, making that appointment was life changing. One 67-year-old man with a heart condition and diabetes hasn’t worked since March 13, 2020. “Hopefully, I can go back to work a couple weeks from right now,” he said after receiving his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. “It will be great.”

And patients weren't the only ones celebrating. “To be here a year later, instead of treating people with COVID-19, to give them something to actively prevent them from getting the disease makes a lot of colleagues feel better,” Benjamin says.

More vaccination clinics to come

Want to know how to get your shot? LVHN is ready to set up more mass vaccination clinics.

“If we get vaccine, we’ll have events like this – even if they need to be bigger, just so we can get vaccine distributed,” says Kathleen Kane, MD, with LVHN Emergency Medicine.

When supply is available the health network also continues to offer vaccines by appointment only at five hospital campuses (Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Cedar Crest, LVH–Muhlenberg, LVH–Hazleton, LVH–Schuylkill E. Norwegian Street and LVH–Pocono).

Stay up-to-date on vaccine supply

LVHN is committed to keeping our community informed about vaccine availability in real time. There are three ways to stay up to date:

  • LVHN.org – LVHN will post a green alert at the top of our website, LVHN.org, to indicate that appointments are available. When appointments are unavailable, LVHN will post a red alert at the top of the website.

  • MyLVHN – People on the LVHN patient portal, MyLVHN, will see an announcement on the home screen indicating if appointments are available.

  • COVID-19 Hotline – If you do not have access to technology, you can call 833-584-6283 (833-LVHN-CVD) to receive an update and schedule an appointment if supply is available. Demand and call volume is high. You may be on hold and all vaccine appointments may fill up while you wait. The fastest way to get an appointment is through MyLVHN.

LVHN typically receives vaccine shipments on Tuesdays when supply is available. Please remember that more than 300,000 people in Phase 1A are waiting to get vaccinated by LVHN. Vaccine supply is determined by the state of Pennsylvania. Appointments are filled on a first-come, first-served basis and are taken very fast.

For everything you need to know about COVID-19 vaccines, please visit LVHN.org/VaccineFAQs.