Patience urged in wait for COVID-19 vaccine

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County residents eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations should stay in close contact with their primary care physicians and preferred pharmacies for options that will surface when more vaccines become available, a county leader said Tuesday.

While vaccine distribution in Blair County has been limited, county Director of Public Safety Mark Taylor urged people to remain patient and to continue practicing measures to restrict the spread of the virus.

“I know it’s created a lot of frustration and rightfully so,” Taylor said as he spoke during the county commissioners meeting. “Based on the calls I’ve been taking, it’s easy to understand the concerns.”

As of Tuesday, about 4,000 Blair County residents who work in health care or who live in nursing homes have been vaccinated.

As those organizations finish their inoculations, Taylor said he expects that vaccines can subsequently be made available for distribution at smaller clinics where hundreds can be vaccinated daily.

A mass vaccination clinic capable of inoculating thousands of county residents, he said, will be dependent on when the county gets large amounts of vaccine.

“Patience, patience, patience is what we’re going to need,” Taylor told the commissioners. “This is going to take some time.”

Commissioner Chairman Bruce Erb told Taylor he appreciated the update and the recommendations.

“Patience is not a virtue some of us have, but we’re certainly getting the chance to practice it until the vaccine availability improves,” Erb said.

Taylor also told commissioners that the county has realized some improvements, with positive COVID-19 cases declining for the second week and with fewer people hospitalized for COVID-19 conditions.

The county’s COVID-19 death toll, however, increased in the last week by 23, to 237, Taylor said.

“The continued increase in deaths each week should serve as a reminder of just how tragic and bad this has been for some many of our families that have been impacted,” Taylor said.

The county, in working with the state, has arrangements in place for another COVID-19 test clinic, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, between Feb. 5 and 9, at the Blair County Convention Center.

Taylor recommends those without symptoms get tested so they can quarantine and avoid passing the virus to others.

“It’s one way of making sure that we can control community spread,” he said.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 814-946-7456.


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