By DEBBIE WACHTER
NEW CASTLE NEWS
With more than half of the adults in Lawrence County vaccinated against COVID-19, efforts are still under way to make sure every eligible citizen who wants the immunization can get it.
Lawrence County Commissioner Morgan Boyd reported at the commissioners meeting Tuesday that to date, 51 percent of the eligible population in Lawrence County has received at least a partial vaccine. Those are of the people who are age 18 or older, he said.
If the COVID-19 case numbers and death numbers in Lawrence County decrease and the number of people being vaccinated continues to increase, the commissioners may soon lift the county’s declaration of emergency, Boyd said.
A COVID-19 vaccine clinic specifically for Spanish-speaking people that was scheduled for Friday in New Castle is canceled and expected to be rescheduled.
Angela Valvano, who said she was coordinating the event through Casa San Jose in Pittsburgh, said the agency felt there had not been enough time for sufficient community outreach before the event.
A future clinic with outreach will be established and announced through Casa San Jose, working with its existing relationships in Lawrence County for getting the people vaccinated in the future, she said.
Gayle Young, executive director of the United Way of Lawrence County, said she is working with Casa San Jose to organize a future clinic to vaccinate all of the Spanish-speaking population in Lawrence County who are here from Puerto Rico, Guatemala and Mexico, and including migrant workers on local farms. She said the event will involve interpreters from out of town, and many will need transportation.
Information about those vaccine efforts will be forthcoming, Young said.
Monica Ruiz, a spokeswoman for Casa San Jose, said the organization also is planning to take a mobile immunization unit to farms in Lawrence County sometime in June.
There are about 300 or more Spanish-speaking people living in Lawrence County, she estimated, adding that the agency has been working with the Latino population in the area for about three years.
Lisa Lombardo, a UPMC spokeswoman, said the UPMC system is continuing to offer the two-dose Pfizer vaccine clinics in Lawrence County and beyond, for Pennsylvania residents 16 and older. People wanting to attend those may register at Vaccine.UPMC.com, or they may call (844) UPMCVAC, (844) 876-2822, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. Walk-ins also are welcome.
Here are some clinics that have dates set to administer the vaccines:
•Ellwood City — UPMC Jameson is sponsoring a clinic from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 15 at Lincoln High School for Ellwood City and surrounding area residents.
•Neshannock Township — UPMC Jameson sponsors clinics weekly every Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Lawrence County YMCA’s Y-Zone location.
•Neshannock Township — Dr. Andrew Matta, of North American Dental Group, has received several hundred doses of the Moderna vaccine, and his office will be administering shots from his office between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday at Refresh Dental, 2623 Wilmington Road, Suite A. in Neshannock Township. Call (724) 658-0822, ext. 4, to register. Walk-ins are welcome. The second shot will be June 4 at the same location.
•Shenango Valley Mall, Hermitage – UPMC Horizon is sponsoring clinics from 8 a.m. to noon every Wednesday.
•Greenville — UPMC Horizon is offering clinics from 8 a.m. to noon every Friday at UPMC Horizon Greenville hospital.
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