Regional vaccination clinic opens

On Friday, the UPMC Northwest vaccination clinic at the Cranberry Mall opened as the regional clinic to serve people from 10 counties in northwestern Pennsylvania.

The clinic is administering both the Pfizer and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines. To keep the two vaccines separate, seating is set up on opposite sides of the enormous former Bon-Ton site.

“We have people coming all the way from Erie today to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” said Katelin Speer, director of operations at UPMC Northwest.

The single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Speer said, is in high demand.

Speer said she expected the clinic to vaccinate between 800 and 900 people by the end of the day Friday. She noted the clinic can inoculate as many as 2,200 people per day.

Speer said she believes more people are finding it easier to register because they can call (844) 876-2822 to get things set up. She said they had 50 people register through the phone line in one day.

When the state was looking for potential sites to open regional vaccine clinics, Venango County commissioner Albert Abramovic pointed to the UPMC Northwest clinic.

The county commissioners agreed the location at the former Bon-Ton store offered plenty of space for the clinic to grow as the need arose and the supply of vaccines was available.

“The mall clinic will do the bulk of the heavy lifting for the region,” commissioner Mike Dulaney said.

In addition to Venango, the other counties that will be served at the Mall location include Clarion, Forest, Crawford, Mercer, Warren, Butler, Jefferson, Lawrence and Erie.