Officials in Philadelphia suburbs push for more vaccines from state department of health

Maggie Kent Image
Thursday, March 11, 2021
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Elected officials are calling for more transparency from the state on where vaccine doses are going, and more doses for constituents.

PROSPECT PARK, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- It's a continuation of a battle that has been going on between southeastern Pennsylvania counties and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Elected officials are calling for more transparency from the state on where vaccine doses are going, and more doses for constituents.

Delaware County officials are urging the state not to open eligibility to 1B category until all 1A residents can get their shot. The most vulnerable need to go first and there isn't enough vaccine to go around.

RELATED: Officials in Philly suburbs clash with Pa. Health Department over vaccine allotment

After receiving his first Moderna shot, Steve Henry said he is "feeling great."

It's how everyone wants to feel, vaccinated and protected.

Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon says ChessPenn Health Services will soon get additional doses.

"Over the next two weeks we expect to see hundreds, if not thousands, of additional vaccines coming into the county. Not through the state where we've had the frustrations, but directly from the federal government," said Scanlon.

The Action News Data Journalism team crunched the numbers. This week, Delaware County got 11,000 doses from the state. Montgomery and Bucks counties received 12,000 shots, and Chester County got fewer than 9,000 doses this week.

RELATED: Data shows Philadelphia suburbs being short-changed on COVID-19 vaccines

The state health department says it's focusing on the number of people getting vaccinated rather than where the vaccine is shipped. But, Senator Anthony Williams says it matters where the vaccine is going, especially when you have an equity issue.

"The failure to acknowledge that the process is not working isn't about politics, isn't about personalities, it's about lies," said Williams.

As the push for vaccinating Pennsylvania's teachers is underway, Bucks County Intermediate Unit opened a clinic in Doylestown. It will provide 4,700 Johnson & Johnson vaccines to county school employees.

"We expect we'll need at least that number again in three or four weeks when more vaccine becomes available from the commonwealth," said Dr. Mark Hoffman, executive director of the Bucks County Intermediate Unit.

Rite Aid Pharmacies throughout the state of Pennsylvania have paused all vaccination appointments for anyone who isn't an educator for Thursday and Friday. Vaccinations for other eligible people will resume on Saturday, March 13.