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Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center Vaccinations

The first COVID-19 vaccine was administered in Cambria County Friday offering folks a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel of the pandemic as cases and deaths continue to spike in the area.

Hospital officials say Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center received their first allocation of vaccines Thursday and will be distributing them in accordance with prioritization guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state and federal government.

The first to receive the vaccine in Cambria County was Tracy Kowalczyk who is a frontline healthcare worker.

Kowalczyk says she works in the COVID unit of the hospital and was excited to be the first person to receive the vaccine.

She said getting the vaccine was no different than getting the flu shot.

Meanwhile, Memorial officials say they are currently treating more than 90 COVID-19 patients at the hospital.

Currently, the Department of Health’s COVID-19 hospital dashboard shows that 108 people are hospitalized with the virus and 10 of those patients are in the Intensive Care Unit.

Overall, Cambria County reported 115 new COVID-19 cases Friday along with nine more deaths.

Memorial officials say they are strongly encouraging the community to get vaccinated once the vaccine becomes more widely available.

“Conemaugh Health System is pleased to be taking this next exciting step toward ending the pandemic and advancing our mission of Making Communities Healthier,” officials wrote.

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