The Lancaster County Community Vaccination Center will be expanding its call center hours to accommodate an increasing demand to register to receive COVID-19 vaccines, the organization has announced.
The COVID-19 vaccination registration and scheduling call center is now open 10 hours a day Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., the center announced in a news release. Special Saturday hours from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. will begin on March 27.
The call center is available for those with limited internet access or other barriers to online registration, according to the news release. Individuals seeking a first-dose vaccine appointment can call 717-588-1020, while those seeking a second-dose vaccine should call 717-588-1026.
“We recognize that many of our friends and neighbors in the region have limited access to the internet or may experience challenges in navigating the website registration process,” said Dr. Michael Ripchinski, lead healthcare partner for the Vaccinate Lancaster Coalition and chief clinical officer with Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health. “Our specialists in our call center are here to help. Our goal is to remove barriers so that anyone who wants to get vaccinated is able to do so.”
Specialists at the clinic have already fielded more than 4,200 calls as of Wednesday afternoon, according to Brett Marcy, the site’s spokesperson.
“As the center’s vaccine supply increases and additional appointments become available, we expect call volumes to steadily increase,” Marcy said in an email.
Individuals can also register for an appointment online at VaccinateLancaster.org by clicking on “Lancaster Co. Community Vaccination Center” and then “Register for a Vaccination Appointment.”
Ripchinski noted that the vaccination center is run by appointment only, and appointment scheduling is dependent upon vaccine availability from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
The Lancaster County Community Vaccination Center has administered more than 7,500 vaccine doses since opening last week, according to the news release.
“We’ve had a successful first week,” Ripchinski said. “We are incredibly grateful to our team at the center and our community for their interest in getting vaccinated. As additional vaccine becomes available, we will continue to increase our capacity to get as many people vaccinated as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
An estimated 1,500 vaccine doses are expected to be administered each day between Wednesday and March 23, the group said. The center is ultimately designed to accommodate as many as 6,000 vaccinations each day.
Approximately 86,000 people have registered to receive a vaccine at the clinic, according to the news release. About three-quarters of registrants have been deemed eligible in Phase 1a of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan.
The vaccination center is operated by the Vaccinate Lancaster Coalition, which includes the Lancaster County government, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, Penn State Health, UPMC, WellSpan Health and the Lancaster City and County Medical Society.
For more information on the Vaccinate Lancaster Coalition and the Lancaster County Community Vaccination Center, visit VaccinateLancaster.org.