Plenty of spots remain available for a COVID-19 vaccine clinic to take place Sunday at St. Camillus Church in Neshannock Township.
Holy Spirit Parish and the Hometown Pharmacy are teaming up to provide the clinic from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at St. Camillus. There will be 400 spots available to receive the first of two shots of the Moderna vaccine. A total of 375 spots remain after Wednesday's initial sign-up registered 25 people.
Registration continues from 2 to 5 p.m. today at St. Camillus, which is located at 314 W. Englewood Ave. Both the registration session and the clinic will take place in the church’s McGurk Hall.
The clinic is open to anyone in the community who is in phase 1A and 1B under Gov. Tom Wolf’s inoculation plan, although Lawrence County Commissioner Loretta Spielvogel, who arranged the clinic with Hometown Pharmacy druggist Bob Ekiert and parish officials, said Wednesday "I don't think I would be out of line to say that it would be open to anybody who gets the message."
Two people who were among the first to register Wednesday were pleased at the ease with which they were able to arrange an appointment.
"This is the first time I really engaged into looking into it," Brian Pruitt, a Holy Spirit parishioner said. "I saw an article and I came up — easy enough. This is great for the community that the church is putting this on and I’m glad it was very simple for a guy like me to walk in and get signed up."
Stan Adamski, also a Holy Spirit parishioner, said that until Wednesday, he, too, had left getting a vaccine on the back burner.
"Let the old people go first," he said. "I have a doctor’s appointment coming up this week and I figured I’d just ask him; that this time in the whole rollout there’d be more availability. But this is great, just walk in and get it over with. I was expecting a bigger line here."
Sister Annie Bremmer, pastoral associate at Holy Spirit, said the parish jumped at the chance to host a vaccine clinic when Spielvogel inquired about it.
"Any way that we can reach out to the community at large and help, we want to do that, especially at this time," she said. "We’ve had the food pantry (at St. Joseph the Worker Church) to help, we’re helping through our St. Vincent de Paul Society. This is another way to reach out to our community and be of service, especially for our seniors.
"We have a senior population here, and we know from calling our own seniors that some don’t have computers, they don’t know how to get online, they don’t know how to make these calls, they get confused. So this was also an opportunity to help our seniors be able to make connections that maybe they haven’t been able to make before."
McGurk Hall, she added, offers plenty of space for social distancing, and the parish will be providing some of its nurses and other volunteers to help run the clinic.
In addition to offering the COVID-19 vaccine at its 20 E. Lawrence St. store, Hometown Pharmacy has been setting up shop at various sites around Lawrence County, including a 200-dose clinic last week at Crescent Place in Ellwood City and a 70-shot January effort at Lark Enterprises in Shenango Township.
This weekend's clinic, Spielvogel said, "just arose out of the need to make sure that people in Lawrence County were having the most options to get the vaccine."
"UPMC is doing a fantastic job at the Y-Zone," she continued. "But some people can’t get there, transportation issues, or other things like that. So I spoke to Bob Ekiert, and he was more than willing — and has been — to go to different areas of the county, taking the vaccine on the road. I contacted people at Holy Spirit Parish, which is my home parish, and asked if there would be an interest there for it with the large amount of parishioners. Father Mac was very supportive, Sister Annie Bremmer has been working with me, and as you can see, the volunteers are here today, and people are coming in."
Those registering today will need to fill out a short consent form and provide their insurance card. Anyone over 65 will need to provide their Medicare red, white and blue card. Registrants then will be assigned a time to report for their vaccine on Sunday.
To streamline the registration process, you may visit https://tinyurl.com/ryj6rd5x to download a consent form to fill out in advance and take to the registration.