Thousands call in to UPMC town hall meeting, concerned after latest mess with COVID-19 vaccine

Thousands call in to UPMC town hall meeting, concerned after latest mess with COVID-19 vaccine

PITTSBURGH — More than 6,300 people dialed in to a UPMC Tele town hall meeting, asking all manner of COVID-19 questions.

Channel 11′s Amy Hudak was the only local reporter inside that meeting and found out many families are concerned after the state announced tens of thousands of doses were accidentally given out.

>>>RELATED: PA short COVID-19 vaccine second doses after major mix-up

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“We have millions and millions of Americans hungry for the vaccine,” said UPMC Infection Prevention physician Dr. Graham Snyder.

UPMC offices were transformed into a studio as top doctors were hooked up and answered questions from callers. Snyder said this summer is when the vaccine could be available to the general public. That’s a push back in the timeline from when federal health officials predicted most people could get it.

“I think we’ll talk about weeks or months before your time in line for the vaccine, not days,” Snyder said.

“We are prepared and ready. We understand this is frustrating,” said UPMC McKeesport Family Medicine physician Dr. Tracey Conti.

UPMC officials said there are disparities when it comes to the vaccine, and some communities have a distrust of the process. But as for how long the pandemic lasts? Officials said there are just too many factors.

“It’s possible we see an end to the pandemic in the next year, but it’s also possible this virus becomes a virus part of our normal, circulating respiratory viruses, and it may not go away for years,” said Conti.

Pa. short 200,000 second COVID-19 doses after some were mistakenly given out as first doses