READING, Pa. – As Berks County tries to lure the attention of the Pennsylvania Department of Health for more COVID-19 vaccine access, smaller community organizations and pharmacies are working together to get the vaccine out sooner rather than later.
One example of this is The Forge in Reading, which is partnering with the Olivet Boys and Girls Club to make a pop-up vaccination clinic available on Friday at 9 a.m.
The Forge acquired 150 doses of the Pfizer vaccine from the West Reading Drug Store and will administer them at the Olivet Boys and Girls Club at 677 Clinton Street in Reading. All appointments have already been filled.
"Berks County, as a whole, isn't getting the large amounts of vaccine like they would need," said Ebony McNeil, chairman of The Forge. "We have high cases, so we want to make sure these small organizations like us and others are doing everything we can."
Those with the Olivet Boys and Girls Club wanted to make their locations available early on.
"We talked about using the Clinton Street site because of where it's located in the city, and there's people who need it," said Christopher Winters, Olivet's president and CEO. "It's a safe place to come. It's a safe place to park."
It's a larger space than the first Forge pop-up vaccination clinic.
"This time, we have even more people coming, so we definitely needed a bigger space so that it can provide better social distancing and we can service more people and faster," said McNeil.
Those behind The Forge are also keeping an eye on progress at the planned mass vaccination site in Muhlenberg Township and want to help there, too.
"Obviously, The Forge would love to even partner with them if we could," McNeil said, "but if not, we will definitely, any time we get our hands on a batch of vaccinations, we will make sure people who need it get those vaccinations."