Pennsylvania needs 8 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to immunize the roughly 4 million residents included in its first wave.
But, so far, the Department of Health said the federal government has shipped about 2.4 million doses – or just one third of what’s necessary before providers can move onto Phase 1B of the statewide vaccination plan.
Even without a timeline for completing Phase 1A determined, Lindsey Maudlin, a department senior adviser, told reporters the general public that falls under Phase 2 could still get their vaccinations by spring or early summer.
“We still think that’s a realistic goal,” she said during a news conference Tuesday.
The revelation came after Maudlin debuted an online tool for residents unsure of where they fall in the state’s four phases of vaccination – 1A, 1B, 1c or 2. Phase 1A includes health care workers, residential care patients, those 65 or older or those 64 or younger with preexisting conditions.
The “Your Turn” tool allows residents to sign up for alert when their vaccination phase opens, though it does not create any sort of waiting list. Instead, residents must continue navigating individual health providers’ scheduling systems in order to secure an appointment.
Maudlin said centralizing registration, as many lawmakers have encouraged after fielding complaints from frustrated constituents, would not address the shortage of vaccines coming into the state.
The federal government will send 10 million vaccines to states this week, a 20 percent increase since President Joe Biden took office last month.
The Biden administration told reporters Tuesday that this figure will increase to 11 million in the coming weeks as the federal government works toward the president’s goal of 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days. The president has said he hopes the total will come closer to 150 million.
Pennsylvania’s vaccine allotment will exceed 175,000 this week. So far, health providers have administered about 63 percent of the 2.4 million shots delivered to the state since mid-December.
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