Facing COVID-19 vaccine shortfall, Westmoreland County demanding more doses

WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. — Pennsylvania state officials are trying to increase the supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses to Westmoreland County.

The county is the 11th most populated county in Pennsylvania, but it’s 55th in terms of COVID-19 vaccines received.

State officials told Channel 11′s news exchange partners at TribLIVE that they see the shortfall and are attempting to change that.

Westmoreland County Commissioner Doug Chew posted Pennsylvania’s vaccine supply numbers on Facebook, saying the county closest to last place received 20 times the number of doses Westmoreland County did. He said it would take nearly three and a half years to vaccinate the county with just that number of doses.

County commissioners sent a letter to Alison Beam, the state’s acting secretary of health, calling for “immediate and substantial adjustments” to the distribution of vaccines, TribLIVE reported. Also included was data showing Westmoreland County keeps receiving fewer doses than smaller counties.

State Sen. Kim Ward shared with TribLIVE that the Department of Health told her the county’s supply could be increased next week.