Misconception about COVID-19 vaccines in Pennsylvania addressed by Secretary of Health

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A misconception that thousands of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are just sitting around was addressed Monday by Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine.

It’s likely more Pennsylvanians have been vaccinated than what’s being reported. Levine attributed that to what she believes is a lag in the vaccine numbers.

About 286,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered in Pennsylvania. Around 21,000 people have received the second dose.

So far, the state has received 800,000 doses. Another 138,000 are expected to arrive this week.

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Pennsylvania is still in the first category of vaccine distribution, which includes about 1 million health care workers, as well as people living in long-term care facilities.

Levine said the state will be announcing plans “soon” for the next group of people -- those over the age of 75 and a number of professions, such as first responders, postal workers and child care workers.

“Right now, we are focusing on people 1A that we talked about, but we do anticipate moving statewide for vaccinations for 1B soon,” Levine said. “It will take several months before the vaccine is available for everyone.”

Levine also mentioned there’s no plan for travel restrictions to be lifted. She said easing restrictions is going to be determined based on vaccination rates and incident rates.