PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The state has notified pharmacies throughout Pennsylvania and said they won’t be receiving any coronavirus vaccines this week.
“This is my third place today,” said Lois Lynn.READ MORE: Mon Wharf Reopening For Parking On Monday
Like millions of older Pennsylvanians, Lynn is in the hunt for the COVID vaccine, filling out forms and getting on waiting lists at pharmacies like Spartan in Brentwood. But today, the state Health Department informed Spartan and others in an email they will get no vaccine this week.
“About 20 other pharmacies in this area, Beaver County, Washington County have essentially been turned down to receive vaccine,” Adam Rice of Spartan Pharmacy said.
Despite promises supply would soon be increasing, in the short term at least, the drought appears to be getting worse -— even for follow-up inoculations. Spartan held a mass clinic at the end of January and had been assured they would get some 4,000 second doses next week, but pharmacist Adam Rice is doubtful they’ll arrive on time.
“I can only hope the state will come through on their promise. I am very hesitant to believe that they will,” said Rice.READ MORE: University of Pittsburgh Main Campus Shifts Into Lower-Risk Classification For The Coronavirus
For its part, the state continues to blame a lack of supply coming out of the federal government but Rice says that explanation goes only so far. According to the CDC, Pennsylvania now ranks 41st in the nation in administering the vaccine. So far 8.9 percent of the population has received the first doses and 2.7 percent have been vaccinated with the second.
“We need to know what’s in the freezers. We need to know what’s in the state. We need to know who is getting them. Especially the vaccinators need to know when we’re getting them,” Rice said.
And frustration is boiling over.
“Oh, I am frustrated with the whole system. Not here but the whole statewide,” said Walter Sokol from Brentwood.MORE NEWS: Baldwin High School Students Raise Thousands Of Dollars Through Polar Pop Event For Special Olympics Of Pennsylvania
The health department in a statement concedes that many providers will not be getting vaccines this week, but they say they will be getting that second dose to administer when the time comes.