PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There was a lot of excitement inside PNC Park Thursday as around 3,000 people received their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
This comes one day after Allegheny County announced it is opening up vaccine eligibility to high-risk people ages 50-64 on Friday. Prior to this, the county has been vaccinating people ages 65 and older only.READ MORE: Highmark Health, Pirates Team Up For Another COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic At PNC Park
Meantime, fortunate is just one way to describe some of the people KDKA spoke to at PNC Park Thursday after rolling up their sleeve for the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I’m not in the 65 and over crowd, but still have underlying conditions, so we were able to get in sooner than most contacts we have,” said Tony Lalli of Cranberry.
Allegheny Health Network is vaccinating people who fall under the state’s Phase 1A guidelines, which means anyone who is 65 and older or 16-64 with certain underlying health conditions.
“We see people tearing up that they received their second dose,” said Chief Medical Officer at Allegheny General Hospital Dr. Imran Qadeer.
Dr. Qadeer said AHN has done close to 14 mass vaccination clinics and have given out over 180,000 vaccines so far. They say they will keep it up. As they continue to do that, will AHN consider expanding its eligibility?READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Health Network Holds 2-Day Vaccination Clinic At PNC Park
“If the state says you can vaccinate anyone over 50 without conditions, then we would follow the state guidelines,” said Dr. Qadeer.
Dr. Qadeer said AHN won’t be able to expand eligibility until the state gives them the go ahead, but he went on to say anything is possible as more doses are being distributed across the state.
“The state will be releasing 200,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines probably the first week of April, then distribute them through counties in Pennsylvania,” Qadeer said.
People like Nancy Milcic keep taking advantage of the shot when it becomes available, like she did at Thursday’s clinic.
“My family wanted to go to Disney and we didn’t get to go there, so it will be nice to get to do that,” said Milcic.
AHN’s goal is to have a clinic that can vaccinate 10,000 people in one day. It hasn’t announced plans for that yet, but say it’s something they’re working on.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Pirates Looking To Make PNC Park A Mass Coronavirus Vaccination Site
Around 3,800 people will receive their second vaccine dose at another clinic at PNC Park on Friday.