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Wolf Administration says mask mandates will not be lifted until 70% of the Commonwealth is vaccinated

Experts say this goal may take a long time do the decrease in demand for the COVID-19 vaccine and the hesitancy of many to take it

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Department of Health hopes to reach those who are reluctant to take the COVID-19.

"We will be advancing education and outreach about the efficacy and safety of the vaccines so that folks really have that interest in getting vaccinated which is so important to be able to reach that 70%," said Pennsylvania Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam.

Although the DOH is hopeful they will be able to reach the 70% goal, experts are not so sure.

Millersville University applied mathematics professor Dr. Robert Buchanan says it may take a while to reach this goal as vaccine rates have gone down.

"We've got to more than double that to get it even close to the 70%," he said.

Secretary of Health Alison Beam says the department is already planning strategies to help local providers increase the rate of people receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. 

"Enlarge the group of providers that receive vaccines to have that more available throughout the Commonwealth for folks within different clinicians but then also different practices," she said.

Dr. Buchanan reminds us the goal we should be trying to reach is herd immunity- the height at which enough people in a given population become immune to a disease.

"I think that's the low end of most people's estimation of what it takes to get to herd immunity," he said. "I think 70% is the minimum- anything that we can get above that is going to be to our advantage." 

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