Pennsylvania Counties Unhappy Over Vaccine Share
Four of Pennsylvania's seven most-heavily populated counties are airing their unhappiness over the size of their allotment of coronavirus vaccines, saying Monday that a meeting with Gov. Tom Wolf's top health official did not resolve their concerns.
Leaders of Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties — home to more than 2.5 million people — called a Sunday meeting with acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam “disappointing and frustrating.”
They say less-populated counties in Pennsylvania have received disproportionately bigger allotments of the two-shot Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and that their smaller-than-expected allotments have led to long waiting lists, cancellation of second-dose appointments and frustration and anger among residents.
They also said the state has been unable to clearly explain how it determined each county's vaccine allotments.
Wolf's administration has not acknowledged a shortfall.
However, the counties said, Beam told them that no county will be allowed to vaccinate people in Phase 1B before each county gets enough doses to fully vaccinate residents in Phase 1A who want the shot.
Still, the counties said they want the state to create a publicly available chart showing the breakdown of vaccines delivered to each county, including the source of those vaccines, and an explanation of how it will prevent counties from moving to Phase 1B before Phase 1A vaccinations are complete.
Pennsylvania has a new physician general
Gov. Tom Wolf today nominated Dr. Denise Johnson to serve as the state’s physician general. If confirmed by the senate, she will succeed Dr. Wendy Braund, who has held the role in an interim capacity since January.
As physician general, Johnson will serve as the state’s top doctor and medical adviser to the Wolf administration.
Johnson spent 13 years in private practice in Meadville before most recently serving as Meadville Medical Center’s Chief Medical Officer.
Allegheny County offering free tests
Allegheny County is offering free COVID-19 tests Monday until 4 p.m. at the First United Presbyterian Church in Tarentum and at the North Park Pool. Appointments and insurance are not required.
Pittsburgh Public Schools will begin to vaccinate its employees as soon as Wednesday.
The district’s intermediate unit will receive 1,400 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The state is using its allotment of the newly-authorized vaccine for educators in an attempt to get more kids back in classrooms. Sarah Schneider reports the district’s 2,000 teachers are expected back in-person when the first round of students return April. 6. The district doesn't yet know when it will receive more doses.