Pharmacist: Vaccine clinic at Greensburg Salem for more than teachers, district employees

Jacob Tierney, Tribune-Review, Greensburg, Pa.
·2 min read

Mar. 13—Friday's covid vaccine clinic at Greensburg Salem High School was open to more than just school district employees — most of whom were ineligible to be inoculated.

Ed Christofano, president of Hayden's Pharmacy, said he took issue with how district officials portrayed the event.

An announcement on the district's website said school was closed Friday "so that a vaccine clinic can be held for our staff prior to students returning to in-person classes."

"That's not really what happened," Christofano said.

His pharmacy administered about 350 doses of the Pfizer covid vaccine at the clinic. The doses were available to people who preregistered on his pharmacy's website — including school district employees and members of the public.

Only people included in Phase 1A of the state's vaccine rollout plan were eligible — people older than 65 or adults with a preexisting health condition. This means many district employees were ineligible.

Hayden's Pharmacy has held numerous vaccine clinics at local schools, which allow plenty of space for social distancing, Christofano said. He's administered about 10,000 shots.

These clinics are not only for teachers and school staff. About 45,000 people are on the pharmacy's vaccine wait list, and they are invited to register for these clinics as well.

"I have not had an issue with the eight other school districts, but this one has been a problem," Christofano said.

Greensburg Salem Superintendent Gary Peiffer said he did not intend to misrepresent the nature of the clinic or suggest it was solely for school employees.

"The clinic was certainly open for the public to come in," he said.

Neither Peiffer nor Christofano could say how many of the 350 vaccines administered Friday went to school district employees.

Christofano said he wants to assure people his pharmacy is following state guidelines. School employees last week were prioritized to receive vaccines under the state's rollout plan — although some districts, such as Ligonier Valley and Greater Latrobe, started vaccinating employees early through agreements with local pharmacies.

While Gov. Tom Wolf's administration has given teachers and other school employees top priority to receive the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine, this move does not apply to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are being distributed according to the original plan. Peiffer said 162 Greensburg Salem employees have signed up to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine through the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, jtierney@triblive.com or via Twitter .