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Lehigh Valley Health Network unveils new fleet of mobile COVID vaccination vehicles

The Lehigh Valley Health Network has three new vehicles as part of its COVID-19 Mobile Vaccination Unit.

The cars were donated from Bennett Toyota in Allentown. The health network began its mobile vaccination unit in January as a way to reach large concentrations of people eligible for the vaccine, but unable to get to hospitals or drive-through clinics. To date, more than 2,000 people have received vaccines through the program, mostly at skilled nursing facilities and personal care homes not served by commercial pharmacies.

As of Saturday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health said more than 2.6 million people statewide have been at least partially vaccinated against the virus so far as 4 million doses have gone into arms. It also reported 4,213 new coronavirus cases and 33 more deaths, per its COVID alert app on Saturday morning.

Statewide, nearly 25,000 deaths have been tied to the virus, and more than 984,000 people have contracted COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic just over a year ago, according to PennLive.

Brian A. Nester, president and CEO of the Lehigh Valley Health Network, said the car dealership has allowed the network to now serve even more people in need of the vaccine.

“We are grateful for their generosity and look forward to doing our part to help the community,” Nester said.

The vehicles will be used to transport vaccines; technology and computers; and the medical team. The COVID-19 mobile vaccination unit serves all areas of the region and will be traveling to senior high rise units, community centers, and other facilities to reach those with limited transportation and other access barriers.

Rob Bennett, president and owner of Bennett Toyota, said in a statement he is happy to help.

“We are honored to provide these vehicles to LVHN and hope they will assist in distributing the vaccine to even more people throughout our community,” Bennett said.

Lehigh Valley Health Network includes eight hospital campuses with three in Allentown; one in Bethlehem; one in East Stroudsburg, Monroe County; one in Hazleton, Luzerne county; and two in Pottsville, Schuylkill County. It also includes Coordinated Health locations, 20 ExpressCARE locations; 26 health centers; numerous primary and specialty care physician practices; and and preferred provider services through “Valley Preferred.”

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Pamela Sroka-Holzmann may be reached at [email protected].