STEELTON, Pa. (WHTM) — Governor Tom Wolf met with pharmacists and patients Friday at a Rite Aid vaccination site in Steelton, Dauphin County.
The pharmacy chain based in Camp Hill is administering nearly 200,000 vaccines a week across six states.
At the store in Steelton, 200 patients are vaccinated a week.
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“We’re working to ensure that the most vulnerable populations have access to the vaccine as quickly as possible,” Wolf said.
Rite Aid was one of the first to offer COVID testing, and when vaccines became available, “We were one of the first partners with the state, administering its supply right to our stores,” said Jocelyn Konrad, Rite Aid chief pharmacy officer.
In addition to 94,000 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine allocated to the state, an additional 30,000 are being sent directly to some pharmacies.
Rite Aid, TopCo and Walmart pharmacies have agreed to use their J&J allocation “To ensure that all early childhood education workers have access to the vaccine, no matter where they work, no matter what their connection to the public school system,” Wolf said.
For those educators, scheduling won’t have to be done online like everyone else.
“We’ll go out to schools. We’ll go out to care centers. We can immunize teachers in that location, especially if they are on site and we can do it very quickly,” Konrad said.
Wolf says supply is steadily increasing across the board but not everyone can get vaccinated yet.
“The president said we’ll be at that point maybe at the end of May, where everyone who wants a shot can get one, but we’re not there yet, so the question is how do we make this work as well as we can given the constraints that we’re working under and I think Rite Aid’s doing a phenomenal job,” Wolf said.
Konrad says in certain locations with extra doses, Rite Aid is setting up community clinics outside of stores and working to help those without access to online scheduling.