St. Luke’s, LVHN differ in their approaches to distribute vaccines

Written by on January 26, 2021

St. Luke’s, LVHN differ in their approaches to distribute vaccines

By Brittany Sweeney

January 26, 2021

FILE – In this July 27, 2020, file photo, Nurse Kathe Olmstead prepares a shot that is part of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., in Binghamton, N.Y. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will hold a meeting to discuss the process of approving COVID-19 vaccines. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)

Millions of Pennsylvanians are now eligible for the COVID-19 shot, and health care providers are racing to distribute the vaccines in time.

Listen to the story.

Lehigh Valley Health Network will hold a mass drive-through vaccination clinic later this week at Dorney Park.

But St. Luke’s University Health Network is taking a different approach with its plan to administer 20,000 coronavirus vaccines this week.

Dr. Jeffrey Jahre, an infectious disease specialist at St. Luke’s, says the network is now vaccinating healthcare workers and patients 75 years and older at 11 locations throughout the Greater Lehigh Valley. 

Jahre says appointments can be booked no more than one week in advance.

“We are doing this seven days a week because not everyone can make those appointments on one or two days and we are giving over 3,000 doses a day. We have the capacity to expand that even further.”

Jahre says other providers are scheduling vaccinations months in advance, even if they don’t have enough of the vaccines in stock to meet the demand.

“The vaccine is released from the federal stockpiles, and it goes to the states. Each state has their own system for distributing it,“ he explains.

So many people are phoning in with questions about the vaccine, the healthcare network had to hire more staff to answer calls. Anyone can sign up on the St. Luke’s app.

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