As demand wanes, WellSpan Health offers walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations
WellSpan is now accepting walk-ins for COVID-19 vaccinations, and a spokesperson says it is because there has been a decrease in the number of people seeking shots.
As of Friday, anyone 16 years and older can get vaccinated the same day from noon to 3 p.m. on selected days and at selected locations, according to a WellSpan Health news release.
WellSpan started seeing a decline in demand about two weeks ago, which could be attributed to existing barriers such as scheduling conflicts or vaccine hesitancy, spokesperson Ryan Coyle said.
"We're seeing the same decline in requests for appointments that health systems are seeing around Pennsylvania and around the country," Coyle said. "We believe there's a great number of people that are hesitant."
Coyle said he doesn't know why vaccine hesitancy exists, but noted it's a personal choice and hopes the option to walk in without an appointment will make it more convenient for folks to get their shots.
"We believe that hesitancy may come from questions individuals may have about the development of the vaccine, or difficulties accessing it in an easy way," said Steph Andreozzi, co-leader of WellSpan's vaccination team.
He said WellSpan has provided ongoing fact-based and culturally appropriate education and information to community members through numerous mediums, including social media, ads and community speaking sessions with medical experts.
WellSpan’s mobile vaccination team is bringing the vaccine to at-risk communities, homebound patients and other groups that may experience vaccine hesitancy, Andreozzi said.
"WellSpan has been taking a two-prong approach to vaccine hesitancy. The first part of it is making sure that we put out educational, fact-based information so people can make an informed decision on the vaccine. It's personal choice," Coyle said. "The second ... is access — making sure that we reduce any barrier that may exist to accessing and getting to the vaccine. And there's a number of ways that we do that. One is the walk-in hours."
Those hours are:
- Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday: York County Community Vaccination Site, 351 Loucks Road, York
- Monday, Wednesday and Friday: WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital, 169 Martin Ave., Ephrata
- Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday: Franklin County Community Vaccination Site, 3055 Black Gap Road, Chambersburg, and WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital, 252 S. 4th St., Lebanon
- Wednesday and Friday: WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital, 147 Gettys St., Gettysburg
WellSpan's York mass vaccination clinic at Manchester Crossroads shopping center, located at 351 Loucks Road in Manchester Township, will no longer accept appointments for first doses on Sunday, Coyle said.
The clinic will, however, be open on Sundays in the coming weeks for people who are already scheduled for their second dose, he said.
"There are a great number of people that are already on the schedule for Sundays for their second dose going forward," Coyle said. "Probably by the end of May, we will be down to six-day-a-week operations after all those people that had second dose appointments get accommodated."
Anyone who gets their second shot by walk-in should cancel their appointment, Coyle said, and the clinic will continue to take appointments from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.
"We hope it gives people easier access to their shot of hope," he said of the walk-in availability. "And it is our recommendation in line with the CDC and the DOH that people take this opportunity so that they can get back to hugging their loved ones or doing the things that they've been putting off."
To date, WellSpan has administered more than 290,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine across south-central Pennsylvania.
Appointments are currently available across all WellSpan vaccination sites through May 10 and will continue in the future based on demand, according to the release.
Make an appointment online at https://www.wellspan.org/make-an-appointment/covid-19-vaccine/ or by calling the COVID-19 hotline at 1-855-851-3641.