When the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine are distributed in the next couple weeks, they will be administered to health care workers and patients and staff at long-term health care facilities in the first phase of a plan state officials outlined Friday.
Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Rachel Levine discussed vaccinations and updated the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry on the latest COVID developments during a webinar.
The current upsurge is resulting in thousands of new cases and many deaths everyday, and more than 5,000 Pennsylvanians are hospitalized, Wolf said.
As of Friday, 11,763 new cases statewide and 120 new cases and three new deaths in Butler County were reported.
Wolf said no one knows how many vaccinations the federal government will distribute and who will receive them first, but indications are that front line health care workers and patients and staff at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities will be the first.
He said there are no plans to make vaccinations mandatory.
Levine said staff from Walgreens and CVS pharmacies will go to long-term health care facilities to administer the vaccines to employees and senior citizen patients. Hospital workers also will receive vaccinations in the first phase, which has been dubbed “Operation Warp Speed,” she said.
Next in line for immunizations in the first phase will be police officers, firefighters and people who work in congregate care settings, Levine said.
The doses will come from allocations provided weekly from the federal government, she said.
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