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Lancaster County joins with local health systems in community vaccination effort

The Lancaster County Commissioners today took the first step toward enabling a newly formed coalition of community partners – including Penn State Health – to establish a COVID-19 community vaccination center, tentatively planned to open in March.

The Commissioners today approved a Memorandum of Understanding for the project. A final agreement is expected to be considered by the Commissioners next week.

The Vaccinate Lancaster Coalition includes the county government and all four major health systems – Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, Penn State Health, UPMC and WellSpan Health. Together with Rock Lititz and TriStarr Staffing managing logistical considerations, the partners are planning a community vaccination center in Lancaster and are seeking FEMA funds to help finance the project. The specific location will be announced at a later date.

The center is tentatively planned for a pilot program of fewer than 1,000 vaccinations per day from March 8 through March 14, before shifting to normal operations with a goal of up to 6,000 vaccinations per day through June 30.

Plans for the vaccination center are contingent upon vaccine availability. Vaccine allocations are decided by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

“The sooner people get vaccinated, the sooner we can begin to put this pandemic behind us,” said Dr. Peter Dillon, chief clinical officer of Penn State Health. “This community vaccination center will provide another convenient option for those who want to be vaccinated. Our goal is access. Every eligible person who wants a shot should get one.”

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