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2021 News

County Ramping up Vaccination Pace as Commissioners Secure 6th Site

March 17, 2021


Bucks County Health Department sites administered their largest daily number of COVID-19 vaccine doses on Tuesday, giving a total of 2,260 shots to people eligible for the 1A phase of the vaccination rollout.

More than 1,000 of those doses were administered at the county’s newest operating site at the Neshaminy Mall in Bensalem, which officially opened on Tuesday. The county is now overseeing four mass vaccination sites through its partnership with AMI Expeditionary Healthcare.

The county’s other three sites – at the Perkasie, Newtown and Bristol campuses of Bucks County Community College – have been up and running since Feb. 16. Through last week, those clinics had administered about 19,500 doses of vaccine.

The addition of the spacious Neshaminy Mall site will at least double the vaccination capability of the existing sites. On Tuesday alone, the mall administered 1,001 first doses of Pfizer vaccine, while the community college sites provided 644 Pfizer first doses and 615 second doses of Moderna vaccine.

The county commissioners on Wednesday voted to approve a $57,150 contract to lease a former Giant supermarket at 2395 York Road in Warwick for use as another vaccination site. The four-month lease with FW PA-Warwick Plaza LLC begins April 1, and will be paid through a public health grant to the county.

former giant 3.17.21-1

It was the sixth Bucks County / AMI clinic site approved by the commissioners. Space at St. Luke’s Quakertown Campus was reserved earlier this month, but has not yet been used for lack of vaccine.

The former Giant store offers about 30,000 square feet of space and a capacity to administer up to 2,000 vaccinations per day, Bucks County Chief Operating Officer Margaret A. McKevitt told the commissioners at their meeting Wednesday. The county’s General Services Division is working to clean and refurbish the building’s interior for use as a clinic, and to obtain the necessary permits from Warwick Township.

McKevitt said the county hopes the site will be ready by early April.

“Now we just need lots of doses of vaccine,” said Commissioners’ Chair Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia. The Bucks County Health Department, which so far has received about one-quarter of the vaccine sent to county providers by the state, received 9,080 doses last week.

County health officials continue to await word about how much vaccine Bucks County will be provided for use next week. Whatever the county receives next week is likely to remain constant for several weeks to come, the commissioners have said.

That number will help the county assess how quickly it can schedule all remaining 1A eligible residents who have pre-registered for vaccinations through the county health department. Gov. Tom Wolf has ordered that all 1A eligible Pennsylvanians be scheduled for a first vaccination appointment by no later than March 31.

Through the end of last week, Bucks County providers had received almost 140,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. A total of 34,500 doses have gone to the county health department for use at its clinics, where health-care workers, senior citizens, people with qualifying health conditions and others eligible for Phase 1A vaccinations have been served.

A total of 55,247 people have been fully vaccinated in Bucks County, along with 53,921 who have been partially vaccinated.

A total of 47,659 cases of COVID have been confirmed in Bucks County during the pandemic, and 1,160 people have died. Sixty-three COVID patients are hospitalized in Bucks, 22 of them in intensive care and eight of those on ventilators.

Media contact: Larry R. King, 215-348-6413, lrking@buckscounty.org