COVID-19: County will open mass vaccination site

Franklin County will open a mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Chambersburg Mall in Greene Township next month. Commissioners chairman David Keller expects the clinic to open by mid-April in the former Burlington Coat Factory.

With vaccine supplies increasing, WellSpan Health — which will run the clinic — expects enough to do mass vaccinations at that time. President Joe Biden’s goal is to open vaccination eligibility for all adults by May 1.

“Our focus has been on finding a suitable place for the clinic,” Keller said. “We needed easy access and plenty of parking, so it’s been a challenge. We looked at several locations (before settling on the Mall).

County will open

In the end, the vacant building on the south end of the mall made the most sense, Keller said. It meet the space and parking criteria, and it was empty and available.

“The mall (ownership) is very supportive of recent public health initiatives,” he said. “It’s a great partnership between Chambersburg Mall, WellSpan and the county.”

Rabbit Transit will provide free rides to and from the clinic for those who need it. That’s something the transit system has already been doing for senior citizens during the current 1A vaccination phase.

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Central location

Keller said the mall location for the clinic also has the advantage of being almost in the center of the county. There is easy access since it is right off I-81’s Scotland exit. Most county residents are already familiar with the location.

Commissioner John Flannery called it “an ideal location.” 

The county will cover the cost of rent and utilities for the clinic. WellSpan will provide the vaccine and personnel to run it.

“We believe we will get reimbursed, but the most important thing is doing what it takes to get people vaccinated,” Keller said. “We continue to be focused on doing whatever we can in the fight against COVID-19.”

“This clinic will provide increased access to vaccines for all Franklin County residents,” Commissioner Bob Ziobrowski said. 

Meanwhile, commissioners are encouraging county residents to continue to follow CDC guidelines to wash their hands frequently, wear masks when in public and social distance.

READ: COVID-19 vaccine: WellSpan has vaccinated thousands

Interested in registering for a vaccination?

Residents interested in registering for a vaccine appointment may contact WellSpan at this link, call the WellSpan COVID-19 Hotline at 1-855-851-3641 or contact Keystone Health at this link.

Need a ride to a vaccine appointment? 

Rabbittransit is offering free rides to any community member needing transportation to and from their scheduled COVID-19 vaccination appointment. Those interested in scheduling transportation to and from a vaccination site may call 1-800-632- 9063.