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Providers busy as Pennsylvania opens COVID-19 vaccine availability to all adults

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — With all adult Pennsylvanians eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, providers are fielding more calls in the last 24 hours.

The number of people trying to schedule a vaccine appointment at Scranton Primary Health Care Center has increased in the last day.

“There has been kind of a lull over the past two weeks as we started work through (Phase) 1B and this week (Phase) 1C and now all of a sudden it’s just wide open,” said Joseph Hollander, CEO of Scranton Primary Health Care Center.

Hollender says phones have been ringing off the hook, email inboxes flooded and people have been coming to the front door to make appointments.

“While the supply and demand are not there, there are limits to how many vaccine shots we can give in a given day,” Hollender explained.

He says the center maintains its regular patient visits as well as COVID testing, causing them to only vaccinate between 150 to 200 a day, both first and second doses. The amount of vaccine shipped to each provider, to keep up with even more demand, will be up to the Department of Health.

“We are working with the City of Scranton and as well as the county to do some vaccine clinics where we can do large quantities at a time,” Hollender added.

In Olyphant, the owner of Medicap Pharmacy is also working with the county to get more people vaccinated as the eligibility is now open for all.

“We’re using facilities at Montage. We’re using our own local facilities and it’s really working out well to coordinate that. The availability for the vaccines and the scheduling is becoming much easier for the patient,” said Eric Pusey, owner of Medicap Pharmacy.

Pusey says, as a provider, he has been able to request a certain number of doses and has received the same number of doses for the past three to four weeks.

“So we’re guaranteed a minimum amount and we are anticipating and we are able to schedule out for that,” Pusey added.

Providers say it’s much easier to schedule an appointment now because it streamlines who is eligible. They warn, if you schedule multiple appointments to make sure to cancel your other ones if you get a shot.

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