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Hundreds of Pennsylvania Guard members support vaccinations

  • Published
  • By Brad Rhen,
  • Joint Force Headquarters - Pennsylvania National Guard

FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – More than 300 Pennsylvania National Guard members are supporting COVID-19 vaccination centers across the commonwealth.

Five teams, totaling about 313 Soldiers and Airmen, are working at community vaccinations centers in Philadelphia, Lancaster, State College and Monroeville.

“Our Guard members are committed to serving their fellow Pennsylvanians by assisting with COVID-19 vaccinations,” said Col. Frank Montgomery, director of military support for the Pennsylvania National Guard. “We are happy to be assisting our neighbors at several sites throughout the commonwealth.”

About 190 Guard members are working at a vaccination center at a school in North Philadelphia and at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Center City.

About 47 PNG members are assisting at the Allegheny County Community Vaccination Center in Monroeville, about 27 service members are supporting a vaccination center at the Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s University Park Campus, and more than 40 PNG members are helping out at the Lancaster County Community Vaccination Center at the Park City Center mall in Lancaster.

“We are so grateful to the Pennsylvania National Guard for offering their support and assistance as we continue our efforts to vaccinate our community members as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible,” said Dr. Michael Ripchinski, site director for the Lancaster County Community Vaccination Center and chief clinical officer with Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health. “This partnership provides our vaccination center with a stable and reliable staffing resource and will ensure that we can continue to expand our capacity and increase the number of vaccinations we provide daily.”

Guard members assisting include medical specialists trained to perform tasks like administering injections and general-purpose personnel who can perform non-medical tasks, such as setting up and administrative functions.

Previously, more than 100 Pennsylvania National Guard members supported vaccination centers for teachers and school staff at 14 locations across the commonwealth. During that mission, which began March 11 and ended March 30, Guard members administered 14,634 vaccinations.

So far, members of the Pennsylvania National Guard have administered over 29,000 vaccinations across the commonwealth and supported centers where over 350,000 vaccinations were completed.