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COVID-19

Shots may be tweaked if variants get worse

The makers of COVID-19 vaccines are figuring out how to tweak their recipes against worrisome virus mutations — and regulators are looking to flu as a blueprint if and when the shots need an update. “It’s not really something you can sort of flip a switch, do overnight,” cautioned ...

Vaccine providers to be decreased

In order to improve its widely condemned percentage of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered, the state Department of Health will shrink the number of active providers from 780, to 200-300 — favoring the hospital systems, community health centers, local health departments and independent ...

Agency on Aging offers vaccine help to seniors

In response to criticism that its decentralized, computer-based system for COVID-19 vaccination appointments is difficult for many seniors, the state has been working to provide help through its Area Agency on Aging sites. Those sites have been coordinating with local health providers, county ...

Biden: US to get 600M vaccine doses

BETHESDA (AP) — President Joe Biden said Thursday that the U.S. will have enough supply of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the summer to inoculate 300 million Americans. Biden made the announcement at the sprawling National Institutes of Health complex just outside Washington as he ...

Patients’ release accelerated outbreak

NEW YORK (AP) — More than 9,000 recovering coronavirus patients in New York state were released from hospitals into nursing homes early in the pandemic under a controversial order that was scrapped amid criticisms it accelerated outbreaks, according to new records obtained by The Associated ...

Poll: 1 in 3 won’t get COVID vaccine

NEW YORK — About 1 in 3 Americans say they definitely or probably won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new poll that some experts say is discouraging news if the U.S. hopes to achieve herd immunity and vanquish the outbreak. The poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for ...

Vaccine demand outstrips supply

Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout problems that have received so much attention recently can be reduced to a pair of numbers, according to information presented by a spokesman for the Department of Health in a news conference Wednesday. Last week, the state’s vaccine providers made ...

DoH defends itself over vaccinations

State Department of Health officials are defending themselves against what they contend is the unfair perception created by Pennsylvania’s low ranking in its percentage of COVID-19 vaccination doses administered, compared to what the state has received from the federal government. The low ...

Senators chipping away at payments

Even as they spent Thursday night proposing dueling additions to a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan, some U.S. senators in both parties appeared to agree on one point — limiting aid to a smaller share of Americans. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., took the floor to lambast the plan, which ...

Wolf signs pandemic relief bill

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation approved Friday by lawmakers that carries over $900 million in pandemic-driven aid for hard-hit hospitality businesses, private schools and people struggling to pay rent or utility bills. This time around, landlords and advocates ...

State aims to increase vaccine sites

As more COVID-19 vaccines become available, and as long-term care facility staff and residents receive shots, the state will be looking toward regular pharmacy locations and community clinics to get the bulk of the population vaccinated, according to Blair County Emergency Management Director ...

Senior advocates critical of vaccination rollout

The state Department of Health erred in not explicitly including personal care, assisted living and other congregate settings for seniors along with nursing homes in its plan for vaccinating residents and staff in long-term care facilities, according to advocates for seniors who testified at a ...

State welcomes changes to vaccine plan

The Biden administration’s new plan to increase its advance notice to states for how many COVID-19 vaccine doses they’ll get from one week to three is a major boon, according to Pennsylvania’s acting Department of Health Secretary Alison Beam. A week’s “visibility” is insufficient ...

Blair COVID-19 testing site to reopen

Blair County will be getting a second pop-up COVID-19 testing clinic. The clinic at the Blair County Convention Center will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Tuesday, according to a news release from the state Department of Health. The center will accommodate up to 450 patients a day ...

State’s vaccine efforts criticized

HOLLIDAYSBURG — While state leaders have blamed the slow COVID-19 vaccination process on limited supplies, two Blair County commissioners on Tuesday criticized the state for its role in the delay. Commissioner Amy Webster said she remains “troubled” by the lack of COVID-19 vaccines ...

West Virginia setting pace

The czar of West Virginia’s much-lauded COVID-19 vaccination effort isn’t interested in keeping his formula for success to himself, based on testimony Tuesday in a hearing of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Among recommendations made by Dr. Clay Marsh was the creation of ...

Tax hike would fund schools

HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf will propose a sweeping new plan to dramatically boost funding for public schools, to be supported by an increase in Pennsylvania’s personal income tax rate that also expands exemptions for lower-wage earners, administration officials said Tuesday. Wolf’s ...

Punxsutawney Phil sees shadow in Groundhog Day gone virtual

PUNXSUTAWNEY — There will be six more weeks of winter, Punxsutawney Phil predicted as he emerged from his burrow on a snowy Tuesday morning to perform his Groundhog Day duties. Members of Phil’s “inner circle” woke up the furry critter at 7:25 a.m. at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, ...

Amid pandemic, boy gets new heart

CATASAUQUA, Pa. — Dillan McGaughran is longing for the first signs of spring, when he can put on his catcher’s mitt and start playing baseball again, enjoying the fresh air and the crack of the bat as it sends the ball soaring over the fields at Catasauqua Park, where the 12-year-old plays ...

GOP slams vaccine rollout

Republicans have accused the Wolf administration of COVID-19 vaccination underperformance. The state has been reserving second doses of COVID-19 vaccines for people who have gotten their first shots, increasing the percentage of not-yet-administered doses in comparison to states that have been ...