More doses of vaccine needed in Pa.

HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf and Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam are hoping the limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses from the federal government will be addressed so that Pennsylvanians may receive the vaccine.

“Pennsylvania has not received enough doses to vaccinate the number of Pennsylvanians who need it, and that’s frustrating to all of us,” Wolf said. “It is incredibly disappointing that the national vaccine supply is extremely limited because states rely on the federal government to get the vaccine. My administration is fighting to make sure Pennsylvania gets our fair share of doses. Our goal remains to ensure every Pennsylvanian who wants a vaccine can get one.”

Wolf said he is hopeful the new Biden Administration will provide a fair and effective national vaccine distribution strategy. The commonwealth remains focused on working with the federal government to receive more doses and get them into arms as soon as possible.

“We know that Pennsylvanians are ready for the vaccine,” said Beam. “We ask for patience as the amount of the vaccine in Pennsylvania and the nation is limited. We want to ensure that the vaccine is provided in a way that is ethical, equitable and efficient, which is why we are taking a phased approach. This way we can make sure the most vulnerable residents can get vaccinated now.”

Vaccine providers have administered vaccine to a total of 605,633 people, including 473,449 people who have received their first dose and 132,184 who have received two doses and are considered fully vaccinated. Pennsylvania will receive 143,275 first doses of vaccine and 137,625 second doses of vaccine this week, bringing the total doses the commonwealth has received to more than 1.5 million total doses of vaccine.

Federal institutions and Philadelphia are receiving and administrating their own doses, which are not included in the state’s totals.

“I have been impressed to see so many Pennsylvanians willing to make the sacrifices necessary to help each other get through the pandemic,” said Acting Interim Physician General Dr. Wendy Braund. “With the vaccine rollout happening across the state we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I want to specifically thank all of the local vaccine providers who are working hard to get the vaccine into arms as quickly as it is available.”

PEMA is working with the Department of Health and county emergency management partners to ensure that county plans will be ready to execute as vaccines become more readily available. With a state as diverse as Pennsylvania, needs for planning or vaccine event support vary widely across the state.

“Like many people, we look forward to the day that we have sufficient COVID vaccine doses for everyone who wants one,” said PEMA Director Randy Padfield. “When that day comes, PEMA and our federal and county partners will be ready to open vaccination clinics that meet the needs of the diverse communities across the state.”