Gov. Wolf Visits the Guthrie Clinic to Talk Vaccine Progress, Hesitancy and Rural Reach

April 22, 2021
Governor Tom Wolf visited the Guthrie Health vaccine clinic

Governor Tom Wolf visited Guthrie's mass vaccination site in Sayre yesterday to tour the clinic and to talk about the progress in vaccinating Pennsylvanians now that eligibility is open to all individuals age 16 and older.

“Vaccines are a gamechanger for Pennsylvanians,” Gov. Wolf said. “While we must remain aware that some COVID-related risks exist in our communities, vaccines drastically lower the risks for people who are vaccinated. Getting vaccinated makes it safer for us to go out in public, makes it safer for us to visit with our friends and loved ones again, to nourish the relationships that are important to us and to participate in the activities we love but that might not have been or felt safe over the past year.”

The governor was joined by Dr. Joseph Scopelliti, president and CEO of Guthrie, and Hospital Association of Pennsylvania president and CEO Andy Carter on clinic tour and press conference.

“Using our capabilities to serve as a vaccination center is what our communities should expect from Guthrie as a regional not-for-profit healthcare system,” Dr. Scopelliti said. “Guthrie had the infrastructure in place to quickly step up to this challenge – we had the space already secured for expansion but available now for the mass vaccination site; centralized scheduling for phone requests and the technology through our Epic Electronic Medical Record to permit on-line registration and self-scheduling; and staff with the range of clinical and operational expertise needed to stand up a center within days. We are proud to be able to serve our community and region in this time of great challenge.”

The vaccine clinic on Elmira Street, a former Kmart, has held more than 50 vaccination days and has vaccinated nearly 19,000 people with first doses and more than 15,000 with both first and second doses. The clinic has vaccinated upwards of 700 people daily using Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The type of vaccine is dependent on the allocation provided each week.

“We see today a seamless operation that is helping thousands of people get their COVID-19 vaccines,” Andy Carter said. “But what we don’t see is the intricate planning and logistics that it took to get this clinic up and running. Since January 2020, Pennsylvania’s hospitals—and more than 300,000 individuals who keep them running—have been working together to prepare for and respond to COVID-19.

“They have spent the last 15 months selflessly treating everyone who needed care. And, since the beginning of the vaccine rollout last December, Pennsylvania’s hospitals have administered approximately 3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine. This clinic—and ones like it across the state—is an important milestone in our fight against COVID-19.”

Click here for additional photos and videos from the visit, including a recording of the full press conference.