HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The state Department of Health has an updated plan for distributing the COVID-19 vaccine. More people can now get the vaccine sooner.
In line with recommendations from the federal government, starting Tuesday, all Pennsylvanians over 65, and those between 16 and 64 years old with serious medical conditions are now eligible to get the vaccine in this current and first distribution phase.
“The CDC has defined this group as people who have conditions like COPD, cancer, sickle cell disease, and chronic kidney disease. Pregnant women are also included in this group,” said Cindy Findley, Department of Health Deputy Secretary of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and head of the COVID-19 vaccine task force.
Smokers, people with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, and those with obesity and severe obesity were also added to the list of Phase 1A recipients.
Now there are more than 3.5 million Pennsylvanians in phase 1A.
“We are hearing from our vaccine providers that they have vaccinated all of the non-affiliated healthcare workers in their area, while at the same time we’re hearing from health workers that they have not yet been vaccinated. We want you to get vaccinated as quickly as possible,” said Findley.
The state Department of Health couldn’t say when we’d move to the next phase of vaccine distribution or when we’ll see mass vaccination sites.
“We are looking at those options, but of course this is all based on the amount of vaccine we receive and at this time, the vaccination levels that we have been receiving have been the same,” said Findley.