The south facade of the Vaccinate Lancaster community vaccination center at Park City Center is seen on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (Photo: Tim Stuhldreher)
The south facade of the Vaccinate Lancaster community vaccination center at Park City Center is seen on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (Photo: Tim Stuhldreher)

Pennsylvania National Guard members will supplement the staff at the Vaccinate Lancaster Covid-19 community vaccination center, the Vaccinate Lancaster Coalition announced Monday.

Roughly 40 Guard members will start this week, serving as greeters, registrars and vaccinators, among other roles, the coalition said. They will not be involved in management or security.

“This partnership provides our vaccination center with a stable and reliable staffing resource and will ensure that we can continue to expand our capacity and increase the number of vaccinations we provide daily,” said Dr. Michael Ripchinski, chief clinical officer with Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health and site director for the vaccination center.

The National Guard includes both medical specialists qualified to give vaccinations and personnel who can support vaccine center operations. Guard members have been assisting at Covid-19 vaccine sites since mid-March and were integral to the state's special initiative to vaccinate teachers and school staff.

By the numbers:

Registrations for appointments at VaccinateLancaster.org

Total to date: 165,000+

Breakdown:

  • Phase 1A: 61%
  • Phase 1B: 14%
  • Phase 1C: 9%
  • Phase 2: 16%

Source: Vaccinate Lancaster

Registration process streamlined

Meanwhile, as Pennsylvania shifts to making everyone age 16 and up eligible for the vaccine, the coalition has streamlined its appointment process.

Previously, people first registered for an appointment, then waited to receive an email inviting them to schedule a specific day and time. Now, scheduling is part of the initial registration process. Once people schedule an appointment, they receive an email confirmation, coalition spokesman Brett Marcy said.

For the second week in a row, the center is receiving about 21,000 first doses of vaccine, or enough for 3,000 shots per day. The number is in line with the center's maximum capacity, as it intends to continue offering 3,000 first doses per day when this week's first-dose recipients are returning for their second shots.

It is receiving about 12,000 second-dose vaccines, corresponding to the first-dose rates during the center's ramp-up period.

As of Monday, the center had about 700 appointments available through Sunday, April 18, and more than 22,000 over the next three weeks up to Sunday, May 2.

Tim Stuhldreher