Pa. counties experience low vaccine supply as state expands groups eligible

When the Pennsylvania Department of Health stretched its 1A, early stage, vaccination phase to those 65 years and older in addition to younger people with severe illness, Chester County says 90,000 residents moved up on the list. But there’s a problem: more people and the same amount of vaccine.

"We just can’t serve everybody right now. We have capacity to do it, but we need the vaccine to push that forward," Chester County Health Director Jeanne Casner said.

Casner adds the county receives about 6,000 doses weekly split between hospitals, nursing home clinics, and the health department.

She says the county is re-working its webpage for residents to show an "interest" in receiving the vaccine, and "apologizes" for the "confusion" and delays while preaching patience.

"We’re back at asking for patience because supply isn’t keeping up. I assume it’s going to work itself out, but it may take a bit of time," she explained.

Chester County has company. The head of Montgomery County’s Board of Commissioners made the stunning claim Wednesday it may take "a year" for the quarter million residents now flooding the 1A category to get two shots.

"We have a lot people who expected to be vaccinated soon. Sorry to say that’s not the case," Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, Dr. Valerie Arkoosh said.

Officials in both counties are placing high hopes that the new Biden Administration will be able to jumpstart the production of the vaccine.

A top Delaware County official says Delco could jab 10,000 residents a week if it had the doses. What it "does" have is as many 200,000 new people anxious for the vaccine in its 1A phase and very little to offer them.

 "We have not. We’ve gotten the same amount of vaccine now that we were getting beginning in January. I don’t have any information that will materially change in the next few weeks," Brian Zidek with the Delaware County Council said.


Pa. expands vaccination eligibility to those 65 and older, others with serious health conditions

Philadelphia moves forward to Phase 1B of COVID-19 vaccinations

COVID-19 vaccinations in Pennsylvania: What you need to know


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