LVHN mass vaccine site at Pocono Raceway

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LONG POND, MONORE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – The race to vaccinate is on. A mass vaccination site at Pocono Raceway on Saturday moved that effort further – vaccinating thousands of people.

Eloise Ahner from Lehighton told us how she was feeling about getting vaccinated. “I feel wonderful. Wonderful. This is exciting,” she said.

“We’re feeling like maybe we’re seeing the light in the end of the tunnel,” said Michael Cirba from Jim Thrope.

Lehigh Valley Health Network held its first mass vaccination clinic in the Poconos on Saturday. About 3,000 people drove through the tunnel at Pocono Raceway, eager to get their first dose.

LVHN staff say it’s not easy to pull off an event this big. There are many things that have to be taken into consideration.

Terry Burger, Administrator for Infection Control and Prevention, Lehigh Valley Health Network stated, “We had to be cognizant of the snow. We had to be aware of what’s frozen, what isn’t…Black ice is always an issue. So logistically it was a bit more challenging.”

The clinic was held drive-thru style, and the line moved quite quickly. Burger says they could get most people through in one hour.

After getting the vaccine, patients must wait at the observation area for 15 minutes to make sure they don’t react negatively to the vaccine.

D Crystal Gibson from Wilkes-Barre said getting a vaccine appointment before this clinic wasn’t easy, “It was really quick. It didn’t hurt which I was very surprised. That was my biggest fear.”

“A lot of dead-ends and closed doors. So when this opened up for me everything went fast. When I did get an appointment it was fast and it was easy so thank you Leigh Valley Health Network,” stated Gibson

LVHN staff say all appointments were booked within the first few hours of being available. Burger understands people are frustrated that events like this fill up fast. She says everything is contingent on vaccine delivery.

“We want to vaccinate as many people as we possibly can. I know it’s frustrating. It’s frustrating for us because we have the infrastructure to do it, but you need the vaccine to be able to do it,” said Burger

Burger says Lehigh Valley Health Network believes more vaccines are on the way.

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