Healthbeat: Local healthcare provider converting office space into vaccine clinic

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JENKINS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Only about one in three available COVID-19 vaccine doses has been administered nationally.

A locally-based healthcare system is trying to improve on those numbers. Gesinger began administering the COVID-19 vaccine last month to its frontline healthcare providers.

On Wednesday at Geisinger’s CenterPoint offices, it began giving those shots to others who are in what’s considered Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Vaccination Phase 1A group.

It’s a day Loriann Pajalich has been waiting for ever since the first COVID-19 vaccines received emergency use authorization in December.

“For my patients, for my students, for healthcare in general I believe that it’s a step I needed to take as a healthcare provider,” Pajalich, an assistant professor of nursing at Marywood University, said.

The Moosic woman is among some 100 healthcare personnel in Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Vaccination Phase 1A group to receive the shot on Wednesday at a Geisinger vaccine clinic near Pittston.

“It’s really important for us to be trying to do everything we can to get vaccines out to community members. We’ve been doing it up until this point at our hospital campuses but we were really looking for a place in the community that was easy for people to get in and out of, to be able to continue to expand the program,” Geisinger VP of Health Services Allison Hess said.

By virtue of what these individuals do in their day to day work, they are considered vulnerable to the insidious virus. Now, they finally have the first dose of this critical form of protection.

“I’m excited. I think it’s a great thing for people to be able to get it and hopefully overcome this pandemic,” medical assistant Rebekah McNulty said.

Geisinger says it will wait for state direction before moving onto vaccinating group 1B.

To learn more about the various group phases prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Pennsylvania, visit www.health.pa.gov.

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