St. Luke’s University Health Network announced earlier this week that it has reached a critical milestone in the fight against coronavirus by administering more than 250,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine since the vaccine first became available in December.
The administration of Vaccine Dose Number 250,000 came on Wednesday, April 21.
The health network said it is currently vaccinating up to 4,000 people a day throughout its 12-hospital system, which spans the greater Lehigh Valley. This approach has made getting the vaccine safe for anyone who experiences an adverse reaction, since each hospital is equipped with a fully-functional emergency department, a news release said.
St. Luke’s vaccination program, which is in operation seven days a week, has helped make Lehigh and Northampton counties among the most vaccinated Pennsylvania counties with populations over 100,000, it stated.
Lehigh Valley Live reported Thursday that nearly 50 percent of Lehigh Valley residents have now received at least one does of one of the available COVID vaccines. That mass vaccination rate is well above the national average, which is currently around 40 percent.
Citing state health department data, the report indicated that 48 percent of Northampton County residents have now received at least one dose, 46 percent of Lehigh County residents have received at least one dose and 26 percent of residents in both counties are fully vaccinated.
“The way to beat this virus is through the herd immunity we can achieve with mass vaccination,” said Jeffrey Jahre, MD, St. Luke’s Vice President of Medical & Academic Affairs and Section Chief Emeritus of Infectious Diseases. “And our community is closer than ever to herd immunity thanks to the incredible, tireless St. Luke’s staff who in a few months’ time have administered a quarter-million shots!”
Note: This local health news is brought to you in partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network.