The race to vaccinate is on at Pocono Raceway

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LONG POND, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The Poconos are getting ready to host their largest vaccination event yet. The demand is high and the stress is real at Pocono Raceway.

As frustrations mount over scheduling vaccine appointments, those who run these mass vaccination clinics are also feeling the strain. The race to vaccinate is on.

The Lehigh Valley Health Network clinic will take over the ‘Tricky Triangle’ and 3,000 people will get the Moderna vaccine.

Terry Burger, the incident commander for LVHN’s mass vaccination clinics, says there are boots on the ground in this effort that people don’t even recognize. That includes those working in communications, safety and registration and the medical staff administering shots.

Burger noted that 3,000 people will be vaccinated Saturday and it will truly ‘take a village’ to pull off an event like this. While health providers and pharmacies would love to vaccinate double or triple, there are plenty of hurdles along the way.

“The good news is that we’ve had 23 years of experience doing drive-thru flu campaigns. Now, it certainly required a lot of pivoting to adjust to COVID-19 because we, number one, have all this on which we’ve not had before,” said Burger. “We’ve never had definitive appointments, but, you know, given the fact that everything from a vaccine standpoint has to match appointment numbers, we have to be very careful about that.”

If there are appointments that have gotten or will get dose one before tomorrow, there are plans to shift unopened vials to local clinics and hospitals as well as have waitlists dialed up.

Eyewitness News has heard repeatedly from health providers and pharmacies that there is infrastructure available, they just need more doses to administer.

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