The Berks County Commissioners recently approved an agreement with the Berks Community Health Center to serve as the healthcare partner for the upcoming Berks Cares Vaccine Center.
In this role, the Berks Community Health Center would serve as the vaccine provider for the site and provide the professional medical personnel that will administer the vaccinations.
“BCHC is excited to join in this effort so that more community members are able to be vaccinated and protected from the virus,” said Mary Kargbo, President and CEO of the Berks Community Health Center.
The Commissioners also voted to authorize a license agreement with North Reading Investors, LP, and the Berks Community Health Center to utilize a vacant building at the North Reading Plaza in Muhlenberg Township for the vaccine center. A fit-out project to prepare the site is underway.
NAI Keystone was able to help secure the building space, owned by Lavipour and Company of New York, NY at no base rent to the county. The county will be paying a minimal amount to cover real costs only.
Steve Willems of NAI Keystone said, “We did this as part of the effort to help our neighbors and community.” In addition to assisting in securing the property, NAI Keystone has accepted no fee in the deal.
The location secured, is an 18,800 SF space in the North Reading Shopping Center, immediately to the left of WalMart in Temple.
A task force of community partners has been meeting frequently to finalize the plans for the community vaccination center and develop ways to cover the various needs of the clinic and the community.
The task force includes representatives from the Berks Community Health Center, Co-County Wellness Services, BARTA, Berks County Public Libraries and the County’s Area Agency on Aging, Department of Emergency Services and Facilities Department.
The County expects to start vaccinations at the site in late April. The exact date and number of vaccinations will be dependent on the supply from the Department of Health.
Once the site is ready to accept appointments, the general public will be able to sign up online. The County will also have a Call Center, lead by Co-County Wellness Services, to serve individuals who do not have access to technology or need transportation assistance.
BARTA will be providing free transportation to the site through fixed and shared rides for individuals who do not have the ability to get to the vaccine center.
The County again asks that residents do not contact these community partners with questions about the Berks Cares Vaccine Center at this time. The County will announce once the Call Center is operational and will send out subsequent announcements as vaccine appointments become available, dependent on supply.
To receive the latest updates as they become available, residents should sign up for the County’s newsletter at doyourpartberks.com.