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State gets 40k increase in first dose allotment from federal government

HARRISBURG — The maximum allocation the state will be receiving for first doses this week is approximately 225,890, which is an over 40,000 jump from last week’s allocation of around 183,000.

According to Barry Ciccocioppo, Department of Health Communications director, the snow delayed last week’s allocation so federal and retail partners can expect to receive last week’s allocation with this week’s increased allocation.

“We do not have control (over the amount of vaccines the state gets),” Ciccocioppo said. “Supplies are still extremely limited…not meeting the demand at this point.”

He asks that partners remain vigilant and patient as supplies allow.

The state, alongside the Emergency Management Agency, are also working out preparation and strategy details for mass community vaccination clinics, though the problem of lack of supply still remains.

“We are getting as much vaccine to PA as allowed from the federal government,” Ciccocioppo said.

He added that the vaccine allotments are “constantly shifting” where they are being sent to but second doses are always available and even sent to the clinic a week before scheduled use, making a lag in reporting.

“We make sure that everyone has enough for second doses,” he said.

As for the most recent vaccination, a single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccination, which could possibly be receiving it’s Emergency Use Authentication, Ciccocioppo stated that the state is anticipating and already starting to evolve the current vaccine strategies to involve the vaccination.

“It would allow for further outreach in communities and other parts of the state,” he said.

What is still unknown about this new vaccination though is how the state can order and if the federal government will also run into more supply issues.

Many healthcare providers like UPMC has stepped up alongside the state’s “Your Turn” tool to put online resources for eligibility and registration for vaccine appointments.

UPMC’s website, Vaccine.UPMC.com, allows those to find out if they are eligible, take an eligibility survey and register to be contacted to set up a vaccination appointment and the “Your Turn” tool from the DOH, helps by also providing information on the distribution phases, 1A through 2.

Ciccocioppo said that the DOH will be making some improvements to the vaccine dashboard online including the app that people can get on their phone.

The “Your Turn” tool also should be completely translated to Spanish and a few other languages by early next week as well.

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