Lower Bucks Hospital Opens COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic

A patient, Sarah, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Lower Bucks Hospital. Photo by Rick Rickman.

Lower Bucks Hospital has opened a new COVID-19 vaccine clinic, giving greater access to the general public.

On its first day Tuesday, LBH says it vaccinated 225 people.

The clinic schedules patients in 30 minute intervals. This gives people time to recover, as it is standard for anyone who received the vaccine to take 15 minutes to rest.

An outside look at Lower Bucks Hospital’s vaccination clinic. Photo by Rick Rickman.

And unlike clinics operated at the county level, Chief Nursing Officer Lea Rodriguez has no complaints about shortages.

“We have been able to get enough vaccines to vaccinate whoever,” said Rodriguez. Instead, there was a different bottleneck. “It’s the resources. We need a pharmacist to make sure they draw and dilute the vaccine.”

Set up in Founders Hall, the clinic has 16 bays with the potential to vaccinate one person in each a minute. However, as of Tuesday LBH had four vaccinators on staff.

Early on, the clinic is focusing on making sure everything operates smoothly. Rodriguez expects they’ll soon be able to ramp up to 320 vaccinations per day.

To help, nursing students from Bucks County Community College will be joining next week to help administer doses.

Importantly, the clinic is not walk-in. About five people attempted to sign up on site Tuesday morning and were turned away.

Instead, the clinic is serving those who have signed up online through the Bucks County COVID-19 vaccine portal. The opening of this clinic will help to speed up the process for people already registered.

Like other clinics throughout the county, Lower Bucks Hospital is vaccinating people who qualify in Phase 1A. This clinic will be accepting more people ages 65 and older, along with people who have high risk conditions.

Sarah went to get her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday morning.

“I’m excited. I’m excited to get back to some sense of normalcy.”

A therapist, she says the most important part is a chance to see patients in person again. While many social workers and therapists have taken to online sessions since the beginning of the pandemic, in-person meetings offer a more personal setting.

Travel plans are also in her sights.

Sarah hopes to take a vacation to Florida, or anywhere warm, sometime soon. She’s looking forward to “being able to go to the beach and get on a plane and not be as scared.”