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O'Connell Gives COVID-19 Update

03/05/2021
O'Connell Gives COVID-19 Update

In nine weeks, Allentown Health Bureau COVID-19 clinics have administered first vaccinations to just more than 95-hundred people and second doses to 4,450 people.

Mayor Ray O’Connell, Health Bureau Director Vicky Kistler and Department of Community & Economic Development Director Leonard Lightner provided a report on the city’s COVID-19 experience this morning at a news conference at the Agri-Plex at the Allentown Fairgrounds, site of the city’s vaccination clinic.   

O’Connell reported that just more than 750 of those vaccinated can be identified specifically as city residents.  Another 2,750 persons come from a city or city-shared zip code and some 4,300 are from Lehigh County non-city or non-city-shared zip codes.

“We are finding that we can administer shots to approximately 1100 people per day as long as we have the doses,” O’Connell said.  “The issues we face are no different than those faced by any other vaccine provider. The number of people who want to be vaccinated far exceeds the available supply.”

The bureau only schedules appointments when we it has the vaccine available. Persons in Tier 1-A can schedule an appointment through the city website.  Those slots are open only when the vaccine is available which is usually on Thursday mornings at 9 a.m.  Persons are urged to check the website often.

Those who cannot schedule on line can email clinicalcommunicabledisease@allentownpa.gov on Thursdays and someone will call them to assist with scheduling.  Sending an email does not guarantee that you will get an appointment.

In addition, when appointments are available, city and Lehigh County residents age 65 and over without access to internet technology can make an appointment through our Call Center at 610-890-7069.  Callers are urged not to block calls on their phones which prevents the Call Center or the Health Bureau from reaching them to schedule an appointment.

According to Kistler, “The vaccination clinics are an amazing partnership – Allentown Health Bureau, Allentown EMS, Eastern PA EMS Council, Allentown Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps, Lehigh County Cert volunteers all coming together to work in tandem to vaccinate as many as possible with as short a wait as possible. The overwhelming kindness, patience and gratitude displayed by the citizens who have been vaccinated is heartwarming.”

Lightner said, “The city is working diligently with our local health care providers and the county to make sure we cover all demographics in the city and the county, as they fall within the vaccine issuance approved tiers.  We ask for your patience and understanding. As the mayor stated, we need to follow the COVID guidance.  If we do that, numbers will likely decline, and restrictions further eased."

COVID-19 has infected a known 13,144 residents of Allentown resulting in 233 deaths.

O’Connell said, “Although more people are getting vaccinated every day and infection numbers are holding steady or falling, we cannot let our guard down.  I urge people to continue to wear a mask, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often and maintain social distancing.”

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