State Health Department, Gov. Wolf address COVID-19 vaccination concerns in Pa.

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Frustration is growing over COVID vaccines in Pennsylvania. Many people are unable to schedule an appointment and some are going to neighboring states to get their doses of the vaccine.

Governor Tom Wolf and acting Health Secretary Alison Beam addressed those concerns in a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Gov. Wolf says a big problem Pa. is facing during the vaccine rollout is supply and demand. According to Wolf, the state has received 1.5 million doses so far, and four million people are a part of the phase 1A category.

“[The idea was], when we went from 65 and over to 75 and over, which expanded 1A recipients, that supply would also be expanded,” Wolf explained. “Well that was wrong, there was no stockpile.”

Acting Secretary Beam says a solution needs to be found so Pennsylvanians are able to get vaccinated within their own state.

“We have to rise to the challenge. We don’t want Pennsylvanians to feel like they have to go out of state to get vaccinated,” Beam said.

Viewers who called into abc27 News say the Health Department website is not helpful.

When asked if the state health department intended on adding a registration portal to help people find a location to receive their vaccine, Beam said, “This is a question we have been wrestling with but our goal is making sure the vaccine distribution effort is getting significant uptake in Pennsylvania by utilizing the relationship people have with their healthcare provider.”

State officials say they know their vaccine allocation two weeks in advance, and they plan on putting more vaccine centers in place.

“The information on any of the clinics that will be staffed will be released multiple ways, mostly through social media and working through our counties and elected officials. It will be made available through the Department of Health 877 number,” said Randy Padfield, director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

Governor Wolf and Secretary Beam say if it’s determined a registration portal is needed, the state will create one for its residents.

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