HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — More than 17,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to health care workers at Pennsylvania hospitals.
That’s according to state Health Department officials Monday, as hospitals remain stressed by coronavirus patient loads and a second vaccine from Moderna is expected to arrive this week.
Officials say 109 hospitals have thus far received doses of the first vaccine, from Pfizer, while hospitals are slated to start receiving 198,000 doses of the newly approved Moderna vaccine this week.
Next week, CVS and Walgreens will start on-site vaccination services for residents and staff of skilled nursing facilities across state.
Harrisburg, PA – The Wolf Administration today announced as of 12 PM, December 21, 22 additional hospitals have received 30,255 does of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and will begin distributing it to health care workers as outlined in the state’s interim vaccine distribution plan. This brings the total to 109 hospitals to date that have received vaccine.
“Each day, hospitals will be shipped vaccine directly from Pfizer and will begin administering it to health care workers at the hospital,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “The hospitals receiving shipments enrolled to be COVID-19 vaccine providers. The federal government has determined the amount of vaccine and when the vaccine is distributed. Hospitals receiving the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine must be able to handle the ultra-low temperature storage requirements.”
Hospitals that received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine today include:
Aria Health-Bucks, Bucks County;
- Crozer Hospital, Delaware County;
- Delaware County Memorial Hospital, Delaware County;
- Geisinger Lewistown, Mifflin County;
- Geisinger Medical Center, Montour County;
- Geisinger Wyoming Valley, Luzerne County;
- Grand View Hospital; Bucks County;
- Highlands Hospital, Fayette County;
- Lankenau Medical Center (Main Line Health System), Montgomery County;
- Lehigh Valley Health Network; Lehigh County;
- Penn State Health Holy Spirit Medical Center, Cumberland County;
- Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Dauphin County;
- Reading Hospital, Berks County;
- Saint Clair Memorial Hospital, Allegheny County;
- Saint Vincent Hospital, Erie County;
- Sharon Regional Medical Center, Mercer County;
- St. Mary Medical Center, Bucks County;
- The Medical Center at Woods, Bucks County;
- UPMC Saint Margaret, Allegheny County;
- UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital, Allegheny County;
- Washington Hospital, Washington County; and
- Wilkes Barre General Hospital.
In addition, Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is due to be received by to at least 51 hospitals throughout the state this week.
“More hospital sites will receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine over the next several weeks. Hospital sites are selected by their ability to manage the cold chain requirement with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, completion of the COVID-19 provider agreement, and successful onboarding with the Department of Health for necessary documentation of vaccination. The number of doses, recipient hospitals and arrival dates are subject to change based on updated information from the federal government and Pfizer.
“These first doses of vaccine are being given specifically to health care workers through hospitals,” Dr. Levine said. “Hospitals are making arrangements to implement these vaccinations, not only to their own frontline staff but to other high-priority recipients. The number of people we can immunize truly depends on how quickly the manufacturers can make the vaccine.”
Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration on Friday, December 11, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) approved its use on December 13.
The vaccine will be available in three phases, beginning with critical populations. Due to the limited supply of vaccine, the first phase is expected to take several months. Initial administration of doses will be according to the ACIP recommendations of vaccine administration to health care workers, residents and staff in long term care facilities.
In the second phase, the department anticipates more vaccine doses will be available. This will allow vaccination of essential workers who cannot work remotely and must work in proximity to others. The third phase is vaccinating all persons of any age not previously vaccinated, once the department has a sufficient supply of vaccine. In this phase, the entire population will have access to a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine.
More information about the COVID-19 vaccine can be found here.
The Wolf Administration stresses the role Pennsylvanians play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
- Clean surfaces frequently.
- Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
- If you must go out, you are required to wear a mask when in a business or where it is difficult to maintain proper social distancing.
- Download the COVID Alert PA app and make your phone part of the fight. The free app can be found in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store by searching for “covid alert pa”.
Updated Coronavirus Links: Press Releases, State Lab Photos, Graphics
- Daily COVID-19 Report
- Press releases regarding coronavirus
- Latest information on the coronavirus
- Photos of the state’s lab in Exton (for download and use)
- Coronavirus and preparedness graphics (located at the bottom of the page)
- Community preparedness and procedures materials
All Pennsylvania residents are encouraged to sign up for AlertPA, a text notification system for health, weather, and other important alerts like COVID-19 updates from commonwealth agencies. Residents can sign up online at www.ready.pa.gov/BeInformed/Signup-For-Alerts