Lancaster County is on track to have 100,000 people either partially or fully protected against the coronavirus by this weekend, state data indicates.
That’s an important milestone, but it’s still less than a quarter of the estimated 432,000 people here who are old enough (16 or older) to get the vaccine.
And while the overall local pace of vaccinations has increased since the county’s mass vaccination center opened a week ago, it would still take until late summer to at least partially protect the county’s full adult population at the current rate. That’s according to an LNP | LancasterOnline analysis of Department of Health vaccination data over the past two weeks.
According to the department, 94,912 Lancaster County residents had been either partially (44,831) or fully (50,081) vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Wednesday.
The number increased by an average of 2,318 per day over the past eight days, marking a nearly 50% increase from a daily average of 1,554 in the prior eight days, the analysis shows.
But the daily increase would need to rise to at least 3,210 to have all adults at least partially protected by the end of June, when the mass vaccination center here is scheduled to close.
The vaccination center opened on Wednesday, March 10, at the former Bon-Ton store at Park City Center in an effort to supplement other local vaccination efforts. The next day, the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 launched a separate program to vaccinate local teachers and other school personnel.
It appears both efforts have resulted in a quickening pace of vaccinations, which officials hope will accelerate even faster as more vaccine become available and use of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine expands.
At the rate of increase over the past eight days, it would take 145 more days — or until early or mid-August — to get 432,000 people here partially or fully vaccinated, the analysis indicates.
Of course, some adults are likely to refuse the vaccine, and that would mean a shorter time frame to finish serving those who want the protection. On the other hand, vaccines could be approved for children in coming months, making 114,000 more people here eligible for the vaccine and extending the time needed to finish the job.
In any case, vaccine supplies are expected to continue increasing in coming weeks, and if use of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine expands it could help to speed the pace even further. (Currently, only the school-vaccination program is using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine locally.)
The mass-vaccination site at Park City is scheduled to operate until the end of June and will be capable of giving up to 6,000 shots per day when enough vaccine becomes available. In its first week, the facility gave shots to about 6,500 people, including 1,200 per day on Saturday and Sunday.
This week’s allocation to the site is 10,600 doses — 6,000 of the Pfizer-BioNTech and 4,600 of the Moderna vaccines — a spokesman said. That equates to about 1,500 appointments per day.