Chester County officials ready to ramp up vaccine efforts

Chester County officials say they're ready, willing, and able to get more shots into arms. They just need the supply to do it.

The Moderna vaccine was on the menu in the Chester County vaccination site in its Government Services Building Thursday.

Special education teacher Megan Schell was happy to pull up her sleeve.

"Teachers are being expected to be in the building giving in-person instruction which we all value and know is important, but so is our safety and health," Megan Schell said.

Schell becomes one of the 9,000 residents vaccinated by the county government to receive her second shot. The county has given a first dose to 18,400 residents and says it can do so much more.

 "We are ready and able to get vaccine doses into the arms of everyone who wants one," Chester County Commissioner Michelle Kichline said.

County leaders gathered Thursday to "plead’ with state government to "ship it" more vaccine. They argue as one of only six Pennsylvania county health departments, it can provide more vaccines.

"The limited vaccine doses we are receiving are better directed to larger providers like our health department. We have the ability to store vaccine right now," Marian Moskowitz said.

 The health director says the county received its first allotment of the Pfizer vaccine just this week and has been averaging just 1,500 to 2,000 doses weekly in a county of over a half-million residents.

"We know how frustrating and difficult this process has been for residents. There are more obstacles than there should be to get vaccinated," Josh Maxwell said.

With lead time, the county believes it could vaccinate 30,000 people weekly.

Offering the "hope" Megan Schell now sees.

"I’m excited actually because I see hope we can return to normal. Whatever normal will be," she said.



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