The general public will soon be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines and local hospitals are preparing for that day.
Char Berringer, the Director of Community Health Services at the Erie County Health Department says no local large scale vaccination sites have been planned. She says each of the clinics at the local hospitals will be able to handle vaccinating the general public when it’s available on April 19th.
“The three large sites that are currently running between the Bayfront Convention Center, what UPMC is offering and what Allegheny Health Network are offering are all considered mass sites because they’re pushing through 1,000 to 2,000 people a day.” Berringer said.
A representative of one local hospital says they’ve started scheduling appointments for the general public after that April 19th date .
“We opened up our scheduling through the remainder of April and, using the scheduling tool, it will prompt individuals based on the current category that we’re in.” said Stephen Henderson, Director of Pharmacy at AHN Saint Vincent.
Henderson said when the state announced an update timeline, AHN Saint Vincent adjusted there services, so the general public can schedule one.
An official from UPMC says they are ready. At their daily clinics, they are vaccinating up to 2,000 people a day.
“We surpassed the 42,000 doses have been administered. We’re definitely ready to see that spike in volume and I think our staff are ready to give those vaccines.” said Jason Chenault.
Erie County officials and medical experts say it’s critical for people to get vaccinated in order to return to a sense of normalcy.