Snyder County will begin vaccinating 1,500 residents on Friday who qualify for the COVID-19 inoculation.

The county has received the vaccinations from the state and is paying $55,000 received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to outside agencies to administer and supervise the doses being given out and provide crowd control at 145 Meadow Circle on the grounds of the Selinsgrove Center.

"We had to fight for it," county board Chairman Joe Kantz said of receiving the Moderna vaccines from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Snyder County was one of only a few counties in the state without a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, he said.

Derick Shambach, the county's emergency management coordinator, said he involved local and state leaders in gaining access to the vaccines.

Residents of long-term care facilities, seniors and people between the ages of 16 and 64 with underlying medical conditions and at risk of life-threatening complications from the coronavirus will be first served.

The vaccinations will be administered between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays for the next eight weeks at the Selinsgrove Center. Residents should call the Area Agency on Aging at 800-533-1050 or 570-374-5558 to schedule an appointment.

For this week only, a mobile unit will also be delivering vaccinations to residents in nursing homes and other long-term care centers, Shambach said.

The county is paying $38,400 to Dauntless Hook & Ladder (DH&L) Ambulance League for at least four certified paramedics to administer the vaccines and $12,000 to Family Practice Center for a registered nurse who will oversee the inoculations. Another $4,800 will be paid to DH&L Fire Police for crowd control.

Commissioner Chuck Steininger expects quite a few residents will take advantage of the free vaccination.

"There's a lot of confusion out there and we wanted to make it simpler," he said.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, as of Tuesday, there have been 14,873 vaccine doses administered to Snyder County residents and 5,737 residents are fully vaccinated.

Union County, which is of similar size, has administered 18,301 doses and 6,750 residents are fully vaccinated. In Montour County, which is half the size of Snyder County but has a clinic, 14,932 doses have been given to residents and 6,590 residents are fully vaccinated.

Kantz has been a vocal opponent of the vaccination being rolled out so soon after its development.

"I don't think it's been tested long enough. I'm not a big believer in any of these yet," he said, adding that he supported providing vaccinations to residents after receiving many calls about it. "So many people were asking that we had to fight for it."

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