HARRISBURG (KDKA) – In New York City, people 65 and older are lining up at the Javits Convention Center to receive the coronavirus vaccine, and over in New Jersey, folks 75 and older are doing the same.
But here in Pennsylvania, the vaccine isn’t available to the general public, and critics say the state still has no definitive plan to distribute it.READ MORE: Police Recover Drugs, Money, And Stolen Guns From Residence In Homewood
The state says it’s following CDC guidelines in distributing first to frontline health care workers and nursing home residents, but other states are already moving onto 1B and 1C, vaccinating people of age and with at-risk conditions. Over the past month, Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine has repeatedly said the state will announce the details for distribution soon.
“We’re focusing on 1A that we talked about, but we do anticipate for moving statewide into vaccinations into 1B soon and we’ll be announcing information when that program starts,” she said.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: Nursing Home Deaths Fueling Blame
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The health department has issued what it calls an Interim Distribution Plan which it says is fluid and subject to change. In a statement sent Friday, the department said: “Right now, we are dependent on how much vaccine the manufacturers can produce and are awaiting federal funding to implement these plans.”
The state says it’s forming partnerships with pharmacies to distribute the vaccine and looking at potential mass clinic sites like PNC Park, but state Senator Camera Bartolotta says they should already be up and running.MORE NEWS: 'The Neighborhood Jewel': Community Fights To Save St. Philip School In Crafton From Closing
“We don’t know what to tell our constituents. We want to tell these elderly people ‘this is where, how and when you can go and get your vaccine’ and we don’t have that information. We should have that information,” she said.