The Vaccinate Lancaster Covid-19 community vaccination center at Park City Center mall exemplifies what local partners can do to promote vaccine availability and accessibility, Gov. Tom Wolf said following a brief tour of the facility Wednesday.
Having a central, easily reachable location with a capacity of 6,000 shots a day is "amazing," the governor said.
Wolf toured the center, housed in the mall's vacant former Bon-Ton store, during a break between morning and afternoon vaccination operations. Wednesday was the center's opening day, with 500 appointments scheduled.
Vaccinate Lancaster officials say lack of vaccine is their principal obstacle at the moment.
Pennsylvania as a whole isn't receiving enough vaccine from the federal government, Wolf said.
However, he said, the feds' distribution effort continues to scale up, and by the end of April, there is hope Pennsylvania's vaccine allocation will hit 1 million doses a week, which should be enough to put supply and demand roughly in balance. Once that happens, the emphasis can start to shift from ramping up supply to encouraging hesitant populations to be vaccinated.
Watch: Gov. Wolf tours Vaccinate Lancaster center
Wolf's main theme Wednesday was accessibility to vaccine sites, and the role public transportation services throughout Pennsylvania can play in ensuring it.
Shared-route "paratransit" service is available in every county, along with fixed-route bus service in metropolitan areas. Free transportation to vaccinations is currently available for qualifying individuals in at least 39 counties, the state says.
In Lancaster County, Red Rose Transit Authority is offering free bus service to the vaccination center on its three routes that serve Park City Center.
Its paratransit service, Red Rose Access, will offer a free trip to any Lancaster County resident who has a vaccine appointment and lacks another means of transportation, Executive Director Dave Kilmer told One United Lancaster.
"Once they get an appointment, they should immediately call us to schedule a ride," he said, at 717) 291-1243. Calls should be made at least a day in advance to ensure availability.
"Our goal is to make sure everyone gets vaccinated," Kilmer said.