Tower Health COVID-19 vaccine

MUHLENBERG TWP., Pa. — Tower Health is preparing to transition to a new way of administering the COVID-19 vaccine in Berks County.

The health network announced Friday that it will close its vaccine clinic on Tuckerton Court in Muhlenberg Township in September and begin offering the vaccine at several of its physician offices.

The last day to receive the first dose of the vaccine at the Muhlenberg clinic will be next Wednesday, Aug. 11, when the clinic will be open from 8 a.m. until noon. Those who receive their first dose there will be scheduled to receive their second dose at the same location.

"The closure of the vaccine clinic does not signify an end to the COVID-19 pandemic," said Dr. Debra Powell, chief of infectious diseases and the medical director of infection prevention. "The virus is still in our communities. Across the country we are seeing the Delta variant spread rapidly among those that have not been vaccinated and hospitalizations are increasing as a result."

Anyone 12 and older is eligible to be vaccinated at the clinic, which accepts walk-in patients and those with an appointment. Officials said an appointment guarantees a vaccine.

Since it opened in February, the clinic has distributed more than 30,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

"I'd like to thank the Tower Health team members and hundreds of community volunteers who made this clinic possible," said Therese Sucher, Tower Health's executive vice president and COO and the interim president and CEO of Reading Hospital. "Their expertise and support allowed us to mobilize quickly and efficiently so we could distribute this life-saving vaccine to eligible members of our community."

Tower Health said its offering of the vaccine at physician offices will involve a phased rollout that will begin when the Muhlenberg clinic closes next month.

As of Thursday, 187,126 people in Berks County, or 44% of the population, were fully vaccinated, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Nearly 22,000 others were partially vaccinated.

"When you get vaccinated you protect yourself and your loved ones, and you help prevent future variants of the virus by discouraging its spread," Powell said.

As of Thursday, the state health department reported the COVID-19 deaths of 1,045 Berks County residents.

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