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WPMT FOX43 | News in Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, Lebanon News, Weather, Sports

Local health providers say there is still an increase in demand for the COVID-19 vaccine

Pharmacy managers in Harrisburg are requesting more vaccine supply as the amount allocated is not enough for their communities

HARRISBURG, Pa. — As Americans continue to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, officials have announced a decrease in COVID-19 vaccine demand.

Because of this, mass vaccination sites in the Commonwealth are set to close such as those in Lancaster and Lebanon county.

While sites begin to prepare for a halt in administering the vaccine, local providers are hoping to continue to provide doses to their local communities.

Harrisburg Derry Street Pharmacy manager and pharmacist Raj Katla, says he's already seen an increase in vaccine demand as many do not have the means to get it outside of the area.

"I've been getting calls, so many people say, 'we don't have transportation we cannot go to get vaccinations in carlisle,' he said, "whatever is going on, they can't drive."

The Pennsylvania Department of Health told FOX43 they recognize the need for more vaccine allocation.

In a statement the department said, "Each week the department is widening the vaccine provider network to ensure trusted community partners can vaccinate people in their communities."

Katla says the community is reliant on his pharmacy to deliver their health needs.

"As soon as they call me, we know why they are calling, what's going on,if there is a refill of medication, or problem," Katla said.

The DOH says they understand the key role local providers play in the lives of residents in the area.

"Our vaccine distribution strategy will help combat vaccine hesitancy because we know that trusted local providers, such as physicians and local pharmacies, often have the important relationships with patients to answer any questions they might have about the vaccines," said the department in a statement.

The department has said 500 providers will receive doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the state allocation this week.

Katla says he is anxious to receive these doses as the supply he has now is not enough. 

"I only have 90 vaccines, I don't think that's going to be enough for this weekend, so I need more vaccines," he said.

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