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Thousands head to Montage Mountain for vaccine clinic

3,600 patients received their first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

SCRANTON, Pa. — Under a tent under the pavilion at Montage Mountain in Scranton, folks got shots they say were a long time coming. 

"It was a godsend; it really was. I don't know who put this together, but they did a great job. They really did," Gene Perna of Taylor said.

The COVID-19 vaccine clinic was a joint effort by state and county officials. Hometown Healthcare of NEPA provided the vaccines. People were asked to park outside the pavilion and could hitch a ride on a golf cart to the vaccination site. 

"I lost a little sleep getting ready for today, but I didn't need to because this is just so smooth," added Walter Riedinger of Nicholson.

The Pavilion at Montage Mountain hadn't seen so many people since the start of the pandemic. In all, 3,600 patients were scheduled for their first Pfizer shot. 

RELATED: How to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment in Pennsylvania

Lackawanna County's Area Agency on Aging says after the clinic, it's confident that everyone in the county who is eligible and wants the vaccine has been able to get it or at least an appointment. 

"We're very confident that we've reached all the older adults that needed to be connected. Folks that we're talking to have either had the vaccine or are already set for a clinic. We've asked people if they have a special need to please contact us. We'll help you find accommodations," said Jason Kavulich, the Area Agency on Aging's director.

Many of the patients told Newswatch 16 that this is the end of a long search for a vaccine appointment. 

They'll be back here in a few weeks for their second dose. After that, they say they'll really feel relief. 

"Then I can go anywhere," said Mickie McGuire of Old Forge. "Freedom!"

RELATED: State updating vaccine strategy