State makes more eligible for vaccine
Pennsylvania on Friday released an updated coronavirus vaccine plan that makes more people eligible for shots in the initial phases of the rollout.
Health care workers and nursing home residents remain at the front of the line, followed by people 75 years and older and “essential workers” like police officers, grocery store clerks and teachers.
With COVID-19 continuing to rage throughout Pennsylvania, health officials cautioned the state is still months away from having enough doses of the two approved vaccines to inoculate the general public.
“I know it is difficult to ask, but we must have patience,” Dr. Rachel Levine, the state health secretary, said Friday. “It will take several months before this vaccine is available for everyone.”
To date, the federal government has allocated to Pennsylvania more than 827,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. More than 235,000 shots have been given, though Levine said the actual number is certain to be higher because reporting by hospitals and pharmacies lags by one to three days.
Doctors, nurses and other health workers, and residents and staff at nursing homes and long-term care facilities — a group that numbers about 1 million — are rolling up their sleeves first. State officials have not offered a timeline for when that initial phase of the vaccination campaign, which began last month, will be completed.