PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Since mid January, this is almost a weekly occurrence. Hundreds of people getting their COVID-19 vaccine from direct primary care doctors and volunteers.
“We’ve*** used every ounce that we can. Every drop from those bottles. We’ve not wasted it. We’ve given it to the people who meet the criteria,” organizer Dr. Natalie Gentile said over Zoom.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: Acting Health Secretary Issues Order Aimed At Speeding Up Vaccine Rollout
Their work continued Sunday morning. They gave 300 people their second dose of the vaccine.
After this, they’re not sure if these efforts will continue.
“Nothing is guaranteed. We are literally flying day to day, waiting to hear what’s going to happen,” Dr. Gentile said about future clinics.
It comes after the state announced it will narrow who gets the first doses of vaccine.
The number will go down from about 1,700 sites to a few hundred. It will include hospitals and healthcare centers.
“We need to make sure that focus in on the providers that are able to reach the communities quickly,” Acting PA Secretary of Health Alison bean said in a Friday press conference.
Dr. Gentile questions the decision. She feels having it at just bigger institutions could become problematic.
“Do you think that we’re going to get to a public that doesn’t have access easily to phones or have access to get out of their house?” she said before Sunday’s clinic.
This has caused her to cancel some appointments. She requested 500 doses this week but received 300 for just Sunday’s clinic.
She’s waiting to hear back on other orders for future clinics, which total more than 1,000 vaccines including some second doses.
“Anybody we reach out to, the answer is I’m not sure. The state is determining this,” Dr. Gentile said about getting answers from the state.
She and other doctors are trying to work with their state representatives to find another solution.