PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — UPMC has teamed with the Pittsburgh Penguins to begin a massive vaccination effort.
They hope to eventually give 80,000 coronavirus shots a week. But the move comes as the health care provider faces criticism for a slow rollout of vaccines for the public.READ MORE: Pennsylvania Trolley Museum To Build New 21,000-Square-Foot Welcome And Education Center
On Monday morning, UPMC plans to give the Moderna vaccine to more than 1,000 people at PPG Paints Arena. On Wednesday, they will give out more shots at the Mario Lemieux Sports Complex.
“We’re grateful for the Penguins for offering us their facility to be able to utilize that. It will complement the 22 public-facing sites that we have at UPMC,” said Mark Sevco, the president of UPMC Children’s Hospital.
Currently, UPMC says it is giving out 22,000 doses a week. They hope that number climbs to 50,000 a week soon.
And they’re planning community outreach. On Saturday, they will administer 500 doses at Bethany Ministries in Homewood. Click here for more.
“Right now, we have 350,000 people on our portal, and we have 50,000 right now scheduled. We’re working through it as fast as the supply of vaccine comes in,” said Sevco.READ MORE: Heart Operation At St. Clair Hospital Lets Some Patients Go Home The Same Day
But it has led to some critics saying it’s about time. Joe Seroka claims UPMC was vaccinating its stay-at-home employees while his ailing 82-year-old mother could not get a shot.
“They shouldn’t be vaccinating 30-year-old work-from-home people, and I have an 82-year-old mother on oxygen with asthma that couldn’t get the vaccine,” said Seroka, whose mother got the vaccine from Mon Valley Hospital.
UPMC maintains it followed protocol.
“Our commitment is to follow the guidelines from the CDC,” said Sevco. “That’s what UPMC has done. Health care workers certainly go first.”
UPMC would not comment on the aggressive vaccine rollout by Allegheny Health Network.MORE NEWS: Around The Table: Democratic Primary Election For Pittsburgh Mayor
If you do not have internet access, UPMC says you can call them to sign up.