Pennsylvania inches closer to goal with 50% adults fully vaccinated

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(WHTM)- Earlier today, Thursday, the Department of Health said 50% of Pennsylvanians 18 and older are now fully vaccinated.

“In the requisite three to four week period, we are likely going to be very close to meeting that 70 percent goal,” said Alison Beam, Acting Secretary of the Department of Health.

When that 70% goal is reached, the Department of Health said it will completely lift the masking order, but there’s still a challenge.

“From here on in, each shot is going to be hard-earned,” said Beam.

Vaccine hesitancy is still a problem and in some cases, people don’t want to get the shot at all.

“Using our community-based organizations to really act as the trusted messengers and vaccinations in their communities has been where we’ve been able to have true success in getting future populations vaccinated,” said Beam.

There’s also been a drop in people wanting to get the single dose, Johnson & Johnson shot, following a pause due to cases of rare blood clots.

“We are continuing to educate folks on the purpose of the pause which was really to make sure it was safe and effective for the general population and that was confirmed,” said Beam.

It’s been a little over a week since kids as young as 12-year-old were able to get the Pfizer vaccine.

“For our start into our basically adolescent vaccine campaign, at this point, we used a lot of our providers who handled Pfizer before,” said Beam.

Schools throughout the Commonwealth could soon play a role.

“What we hope to see is partnerships between our providers who are now going to have trusted experience with using Pfizer and really handling it, despite some of the logistics and being able to bring that into a school setting where there are school districts or discreet schools interested in holding some sort of vaccine clinic for their students,” said Beam.

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