LVHN will close two locations in the Lehigh Valley and three in our area.
EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. — If you go to a Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) facility and need a coronavirus vaccine or the latest booster, you’ll now have to schedule a visit through your primary care physician.
LVHN is closing its COVID-19 vaccine clinics. The one at its hospital in East Stroudsburg will close on February 3. So will clinics at LVHN hospitals in Hazleton and Pottsville.
Dr. Alex Benjamin is the chief of infection control and hospital epidemiology.
“Very early on, when the quantity of the vaccine was limited, we really wanted to make sure that every dose got into somebody’s arm. You remember those stories about running out of the clinic and chasing someone down to try and give them the vaccine so we weren’t wasting shots? Well, fast forward to today. Now both manufacturers have single-dose vials.”
Dr. Benjamin says just because the clinics are closing doesn’t mean people shouldn’t get the vaccine or that the health network will not continue to administer them.
“We don’t want to put across the idea that we are not providing more vaccines ever. We just wanted to put it in a place where it’s accessible to patients to get it from their doctor and from the doctor to be able to review their vaccine records and go over what else is recommended for them.”
Dr. Benjamin says while COVID-19 numbers seem to be coming down in the Poconos, nationally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed a once-a-year COVID shot to protect against the virus similar to the annual flu shot.
He believes people may be inclined to have a once-a-year shot, but a lot of research needs to be done.
The FDA plans to meet on Thursday to talk about future vaccination efforts.
Watch more stories about the coronavirus pandemic on WNEP’s YouTube page.