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Current demand for COVID-19 vaccine far exceeds the supply, causing filled appointments at most healthcare systems

The expansion of Phase 1a expands eligibility to 3.5 million Pennsylvanians but the state is only receiving about 140,000 doses per week.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania state health officials expanded who can get the COVID-19 vaccine earlier this week to people over the age of 65 and those 16-64 with underlying health condition. Most healthcare systems administering the vaccine don't have enough vaccine or personnel to met the current demand. 

Many healthcare systems do not have any available appointments and are working to open more up but say that will depend on vaccine availability. Right now, they do not have enough of the vaccine or known shipments of the vaccine coming to be able to meet this new need. 

This again, is not just isolated to one health care system, many are putting a hold on new appointments. Rite-Aid has an online portal to make an appointment which can have up to 10 minute wait times because thousand of Pennsylvanians are trying to schedule appointments, and when you get through you find no appointments are available. 

The expansion of who is eligible to get the vaccine includes 3.5 million Pennsylvanians, but the state is currently only receiving 140,000 doses per week. Now, that we are a few weeks into vaccinations, healthcare systems are not only giving patients their first doses, but also their second. 

Hospital systems are preparing to host pop-up clinics when they do get the vaccines. Pop-up clinics or mass vaccinations sites are something state health officials are looking into and are currently trying to figure out logistics. 

When it comes to vaccinations, Pennsylvania currently ranks 33rd in the country for vaccines administered per capita, but when it comes to total doses given, we rank 5th out of all 50 states. 

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