READING, Pa. — Reading will host a two-day mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic next week.

Latino Connection's Community-Accessible Testing and Education mobile unit, or CATE, has been equipped to administer vaccinations. The unit was used last fall as a mobile testing site.

"What started as a first-of-its-kind COVID-19 mobile testing and education initiative has shifted into overdrive with the launch of the COVID-19 vaccination tour," George Fernandez, founder and CEO of Latino Connection, said in a prepared statement. "With more than 120 vaccination stops and 100 additional educational events on the agenda, these important resources will be accessible to people in nearly every region across Pennsylvania."

CATE will provide free COVID-19 vaccinations and education from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday in the open parking lot at 31 South Fifth Street in downtown Reading.

Reading Mayor Eddie Moran said in a statement that the residents of Reading "have made their voices heard and want to get vaccinated."

"Working collaboratively, we have been able to combat resistance, skepticism and misinformation," he said. "We will continue working to make Reading a healthy and vibrant community."

"These mobile clinics, and you can't overstate the importance of them, for folks who may not have the wherewithal to get all the way out to North Reading Plaza which is really far from the city," said Donna Reed, city councilmember.

Reed says the downtown clinic will also address another issue in cities like Reading, with many multigenerational households in row homes, with multiple units, where young and old are vulnerable. Additionally, cases are on the rise.

"We are seeing an uptick everywhere right now, which is unfortunate," she said, "so this hopefully will be very helpful and beneficial in confronting that uptick and bringing down the numbers."

While the city of Reading presses for mobile vaccination clinics, especially in underserved communities, this pop-up site won't be the first for Berks.

"Through these clinics we have nearly reached 2,500 people," said Jeanette Gibbs, senior vice president, Penn State Health. "We appreciate all the employees and volunteers who have organized, promoted and staffed our vaccine clinics."

Anyone interested in receiving a vaccination can learn more on the CATE Facebook page or on the CATE unit website.

Services are provided on a first come, first serve basis, and pre-registration is required through the website, according to the news release.

Social distancing and masking guidelines will be followed at all times.

Additional information about COVID-19 vaccinations is available on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website.

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