In the coming weeks, local pharmacies should be getting more vials.By Dr. Maria Simbra

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Coronavirus vaccine doses that the federal government allocated for nursing homes are being rerouted to states.

“It’s good news, certainly,” says Asti Drug pharmacist Chris Antypas. “We’re waiting on the edge of our chair to see when we’ll have those doses allocated to us.”

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While three-quarters of long-term care facility residents have been immunized, only one-third of the workers have taken the vaccine. Government planners did not expect that level of hesitancy amongst employees.

“Maybe we should have been qualifying interest and not just assuming headcounts,” Antypas said. “We certainly have an overwhelming interest of people wanting to get the vaccine.”

Alesha Baker jumped at the chance to get her shot. She works at two independent living facilities and does have hesitant coworkers.

“I was on waitlists,” she said. “I was very happy that I could. Mostly, I did it for my residents.”

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In the coming weeks, local pharmacies should be getting more vials.

“It’s about one million doses going to 65,000 pharmacies. That’s about 150 doses a pharmacy. So it’s not really going to make a dent in our list,” said Antypas. “Any amount of vaccine that can make its way back into the communities is very important and helpful.”

More people should have access due to the increased production from vaccine makers and additional drug stores vaccinating. And yet, pharmacies continue to check their email for updates from the state.

“It’s just a waiting process. There’s a lot of confusion and stress,” Antypas said.

Some people may have to wait longer for a second shot. The CDC says up to six weeks is acceptable for a second dose.

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“Don’t panic if you don’t get your second dose at 28 days. It’s still effective if it’s pushed out a little bit further,” said Antypas.

Dr. Maria Simbra