Officials urge people to stay patient as states hurry to get more COVID-19 vaccines


Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf says he understands the frustration, but they're vaccinating people as fast as they can

(WKBN) – Vaccine progress continues in Ohio and Pennsylvania, but many Valley residents are frustrated that they can’t even get an appointment.

About 1,161,056 Ohioans have started the vaccination process, which is almost 10% of the state’s population.

Ohio received about 215,000 doses this week to divide among all 88 counties. The state is getting more vaccine doses next week, but there’s still too little for so many people.

Just in our three local Ohio counties, there are more than 112,000 people over the age of 65. Add in teachers, health care workers and other people eligible to get vaccinated, and appointments disappear fast.

Pharmacies, health departments and hospitals are all providing the vaccine.

Missy Russo is in charge of Mercy Health Youngstown’s vaccine clinics as director of primary care.

“But you know, the limited amount of vaccines is just the limited amount of vaccines. We only have so many, we schedule as fast as we can. We’d never waste doses. We try to get as many patients in as we can,” she said.

In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf says he too understands the frustration, but they’re vaccinating people as fast as they can.

“Just the number of people in that category is over 4 million, and that is larger than many states in the United States,” he said.

Pennsylvania has vaccinated more than 1.1 million people so far, but they still only get roughly 300,000 doses per week.

Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary Robert Torres announced the state now has a hotline that will help seniors with scheduling vaccines or finding transportation. That number is 1-800-753-8827.

In both states, and across all counties, officials are urging people to stay patient and updated as they work hard to roll out the vaccine as soon as possible.

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