PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – As Pennsylvania marked its one-millionth confirmed case of COVID-19 Thursday, vaccination efforts continue to increase in our area.
Thousands of people got their shots at Heinz Field and PNC Park on Thursday. Hundreds of thousands of people still remain on the waitlist.READ MORE: Johnson & Johnson Vaccine To Remain In Limbo While Officials Seek More Evidence
AHN marked its 25,000th shot given at the home of the Pirates. Overall, it has administered 200,000 shots. Currently, it is scheduling patients as the vaccine becomes available.
“We have some other opportunities coming up for mega-events where maybe we can do 10,000-plus in a day,” AHN Nurse Krista Bragg said.
Meanwhile, UPMC has put more than 300,000 shots into arms but more than 450,000 people are on their waitlist.
“It tells me that while we have done a great job vaccinating, there’s still lots more to do even in that highest priority group,” UPMC Senior Medical Director Dr. Donald Yealy said.
UPMC leaders say they do 20,000 to 25,000 shots a week. They say doing three times that would be simple. The healthcare giant is working with the state and county to make it possible.READ MORE: Multiple Ballot Questions Face Voters In This Year's Primary
“The key is getting the vaccine and knowing it’s coming. We want to do this. We know people are anxious. We’re happy people want the vaccine,” Dr. Yealy said over Zoom.
Another 1,500 people got a vaccine at the Community College of Beaver County on Thursday. The Heritage Valley Health System is putting about 10,000 shots in arms a week.
“I think based on the 95,000 on the waitlist, it helps demonstrate people are interested in getting the vaccine,” Human Resources Officer Laurie Clemens said.
Of that 95,000, about 53,000 have been invited to get their shots and at least 25,000 have at least a first dose. This past Monday, it opened appointments for anyone 50 and over, whether they have pre-existing conditions or not.
“I think as more vaccine comes our way, we can open that up. We will continue to lower the age,” Laurie Clemens said.MORE NEWS: Parents Say Pine-Richland Head Football Coach Eric Kasperowicz And Entire Coaching Staff Will Not Return In Fall
As for moving into Phase 1B and other vaccine phases, health leaders feel as more vaccines become available, the process should take weeks as opposed to months.