State Funding Enables Wright Center to Expand COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

The Wright Center for Community Health recently was awarded $75,000 in state funding to encourage hesitant residents in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The new grant funding is part of the state’s $2.5 million COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach Program that supports grassroots efforts to reduce vaccine hesitancy across the commonwealth. The program, administered by the state Department of Community and Economic Development, builds upon the ongoing statewide public health awareness campaign, PA United Against COVID-19.

“The Wright Center is extremely grateful for the complete support the state has exhibited in providing us the necessary tools to get as many COVID-19 shots into the arms of our patients,” said Dr. Jignesh Y. Sheth, chief medical officer of The Wright Center for Community Health. “The COVID-19 vaccines have undergone and will continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. medical history.

“Vaccinations are an effective way to protect yourself, your loved ones and others in the community and reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalization or long-term complications.”

The state funding supports efforts by nonprofit organizations, and child care and educational institutions to communicate the efficacy and importance of vaccinations through local media advertisements, and creation of training materials, vaccine-related community events and more.

“The Department of Health remains committed to eliminating obstacles and challenges that prevent Pennsylvanians from getting vaccinated,” Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said in a press release announcing the 65 grant recipients. “I am impressed by the tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians who are stepping up every day to get their first, second or third dose of vaccine to protect themselves, their loved ones and their neighbors against COVID-19.

With the grant funding, The Wright Center for Community Health will build upon its existing Driving Better Health program in the Hazleton area that delivers COVID-19 vaccines to members of the Hispanic community with the 34-foot mobile medical unit. The collaborative program involves the Hazleton Integration Project, Hazleton Area School District and community leaders reaching vulnerable, underserved populations in southern Luzerne County.

The Wright Center also will build vaccine confidence through outreach and community engagement that overcomes structural, behavioral and informational barriers, including education, rural residency that limits access to health care, people who speak limited English, individuals with low incomes and other under-resourced communities. The mobile medical unit enables clinical staff to establish community clinics and see patients where they live and work thanks to community collaborations that include schools, rural partners, community organizations and ethnic groups.

The grant will enable The Wright Center for Community Health’s Driving Better Health to conduct up to 36 outreach events in the coverage area over 12 months.

For more information about The Wright Center for Community Health, call 570.343.2383 or go to  

The Wright Center to Bring COVID-19 Vaccinations to South Side Farmers Market

The Wright Center for Community Health is partnering with United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania to provide onsite flu and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccinations, including third doses of Pfizer, on Saturday, Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the South Side Farmers Market, 601 Cedar Ave., Scranton.

The regional health care provider will utilize its 34-foot mobile medical clinic, Driving Better Health, to provide services in conjunction with its community partners. The 500-block of Cedar Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic to ensure safe, easy access to the mobile clinic and free information about health care services available at The Wright Center for Community Health.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for ages 16 and older. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends Pfizer third-dose boosters be given six months after the second dose in these categories: Older adults (ages 65 and above) and those living in long-term care facilities; adults ages 50-64 at high risk of severe COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions; adults ages 18-49 with underlying medical conditions should consider a booster, and adults 18-64 who work in health care and institutional settings, such as teachers, health care workers, daycare staff, grocery works and people in shelters or prisons.

The CDC also recommended that people with compromised immune systems who had previously received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine get a third shot of the same type to boost their protection from COVID-19. The third shot should be administered at least 28 days after the second dose.

People interested in receiving a vaccine are encouraged to pre-register online at or by calling 570-343-2382. Walk-up appointments also are welcome throughout the day. People seeking vaccination services are asked to bring a photo ID and insurance cards. For those who are uninsured, The Wright Center will never deny health care services based on a patient’s inability to pay.

“The Wright Center for Community Health works collaboratively with community agencies to make outreach to underserved communities in Northeast Pennsylvania,” said Robin Rosencrans, practice manager for Driving Better Health. “Our mobile clinic makes vaccinations more accessible for people who otherwise might not have necessary transportation for appointments with their primary care providers.”

Driving Better Health features two fully equipped examination operatories and a medical staff aboard the mobile medical unit. It is a way to bring health care to the region’s most vulnerable, underserved populations. It is staffed by a multidisciplinary, bilingual primary care team of clinicians who will deliver primary health care to those most in need.