York County's mass vaccination clinic will be at Manchester Twp. shopping center

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch

York County's mass vaccination clinic for the COVID-19 vaccine will be at the Crossroads shopping center in Manchester Township, but the clinic won't be open until there are more vaccine doses available, officials said Wednesday.

The York County Board of Commissioners approved a four-month lease for a space at the shopping center for $35,000 a month plus utilities and start-up costs, all of which will be reimbursed to the county through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, officials said.

"We know folks are struggling to get appointments, but it's really due to the supply of vaccine at this juncture," Commissioner Julie Wheeler said.

Wheeler urged people in Phase 1A of the vaccine rollout to continue to seek out vaccination appointments via WellSpan Health or UPMC.

Colleen Teevan, System Pharmacy Clinical Manager at Hartford HealthCare, administers the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 to healthcare worker Connor Paleski outside of Hartford Hospital, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

The mass vaccination center planned for the shopping plaza along Route 30 near the Interstate 83 interchange is the result of a partnership between York County and WellSpan Health.

Phase 1A includes people over 65, people with high-risk health conditions, health care workers and those living in long-term care facilities, totaling more than 4 million people.

From the time the first two vaccines on the market — manufactured by the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech pharmaceutical companies — became available, demand has far outpaced supply.

The Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for COVID-19 require two doses to be considered effective, which means Pennsylvania will need to administer more than 8 million doses before the state can move into phase 1B.

As of Wednesday, Pennsylvania had administered about 2.5 million doses of the vaccine. In York County, about 26,600 people have received the first dose, and another 24,100 have received both doses.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced Wednesday that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which requires only one dose and was just approved by the Federal Drug Administration, will be reserved for K-12 teachers and other school staff in Pennsylvania not already covered in Phase 1A.

The Pennsylvania National Guard will help with vaccine distribution and coordinate vaccination sites with the state's 28 intermediate units, the governor's office said.

State lawmakers criticized the governor's initial vaccine rollout plan, citing poor communication and lack of coordination, but a recently formed bipartisan task force has been working with Wolf to improve the process.

Republicans in the General Assembly have also demanded that Wolf allow the Pennsylvania National Guard to set up vaccine distribution sites in every county. 

President Joe Biden said Tuesday he plans to have enough COVID-19 vaccine doses for every American adult by the end of May.

More:Teachers to get 1-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Wolf says

More:State official: Vaccine supply still lags behind demand