Washington Co. leaders taking steps to speed up vaccine distribution for essential workers

Washington Co. leaders taking steps to speed up vaccine distribution for essential workers

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Pa. — Washington County leaders came up with a new COVID-19 registry program after they ran into some problems with the way the state was handling registration.

“There were people falling through the cracks because no one knew for sure who had been vaccinated who was on the list,” said Washington County Public Safety Director Jeffrey Yates.

The Washington County Department of Public Safety, along with the Washington Health System, local hospitals and clinics just created their own vaccination registration plan for essential workers.

Content Continues Below

“What we did is develop a registry so all interested groups right now in 1A who would like to be vaccinated can register there. All our licensed vaccinators within the county can go to one centralized list reach out and contact those people to be vaccinated,” Yates said.

Yates said before with the state’s plan, different people were reaching out to different groups to register for the vaccination.

He said their way is more efficient and will help speed up the process, getting more folks in their area vaccinated.

“We felt we needed to do something because we don’t have our own health department to really coordinate this and its tough on a state level there’s a lot of things statewide for them to handle so it seem like a local solution was the way to go,” Yates said.

The county launched the registry on Friday and already one thousand groups have registered. Right now, it’s designed for groups focusing on those in phase 1a first, then groups in 1b and 1c.

“This is not first come first serve we follow the same guidelines and the vaccinators here follow the same guidelines that have been established by the state,” Yates said.

The plan was originally just for folks in Washington County but then they expanded to Greene and Fayette counties.

“We were originally a county program but couple of the clinics and hospitals actually cross borders in other counties so it kind of got a life of its own,” Yates said.

Yates said individual registration is something they will be handling differently at some point.

Despite coronavirus vaccine rollout, experts still warn masks are needed