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Vaccine rollout draws Dem lawmaker’s ire

HARRISBURG — A Democratic state lawmaker criticized Pennsylvania’s vaccine rollout as muddled on Friday — saying other states are doing a much better job at distribution and communication — while unions representing police and prison guards expressed outrage at having been shoved farther back in line for COVID-19 shots.

Although Republicans have been more than happy to attack Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the scolding from a fellow Democrat was remarkable — and a sign of mounting frustration over the stubbornly slow pace of vaccinations in Pennsylvania and shifting guidance about who is eligible to get them.

“Pennsylvanians are confused and anxious to receive a vaccine, and they deserve clearer communication and more concrete answers,” wrote Sen. Lindsey Williams of Allegheny County. “I am asking the Department of Health for a transparent, clearly communicated, and efficient vaccine distribution plan for Pennsylvanians.”

She added: “Pennsylvania must catch up to other states in ease of vaccine distribution and communication.”

In Pennsylvania, as elsewhere, demand for the two COVID-19 shots has overwhelmed supply, and residents have been forced to navigate a patchwork distribution system involving hospitals, pharmacy chains, municipal health departments and even grocery stores. Pennsylvania has been getting about 140,000 doses a week from the federal government and blames a lack of supply for the slow rollout.

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