BROCKWAY – Using the Brockway Area Junior-Senior High School and an army of volunteers, Penn Highlands Healthcare was able to run a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for Brockway area residents on Saturday.

In all, 960 doses of the Pfizer vaccine were given, going into the arms of residents who are in the state Department of Health’s Phase 1A. Penn Highlands worked with primary care offices and local businesses to identify people who were eligible for the shot.

Megan Bussard, director of Value Based Healthcare Operations for Penn Highlands Healthcare, said she was excited to get vaccination clinics in schools around the area.

“We needed more space to get more people through,” Bussard said. “I kept telling everyone that the schools were where we could get space. You have gymnasiums, cafeterias and auditoriums. We were getting bottlenecked in the waiting area, where people needed to stay for 15 minutes after getting the shot to see if they have a reaction.”

Brockway set up its process in the cafeteria. Tables with volunteers greeted people coming into the school, and when the paperwork was processed, those getting vaccinated sat at the cafeteria tables to get their shots. They then went out into the hallway to get information for their next shot before going to the auditorium to sit and make sure they were not suffering any immediate ill effects after the dose.

“A lot of communities are doing that now,” Bussard said about using schools. “They’re prime locations for getting large groups through.”

Bussard said she talked to Superintendent Jeff Vizza when the Brockway teachers were getting their vaccine. He was happy to help. Former Superintendent Dan Hawkins helped with the registration on the day of the clinic.

The high school will host the next round of vaccines for the residents in three weeks.

“Working with the school has been amazing,” Bussard said. “They had everything set up for us.”

More information about Penn Highland’s COVID-19 vaccinations is on the organization’s website, www.phhealthcare.org.

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