Pa. health officials say weather may push back COVID-19 vaccination goal


Pennsylvania is still working to finish vaccinating all those who would be covered under the state's "1A" category

Coronavirus, COVID-19

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(WKBN) – This month’s wintery weather in Pennsylvania could end up causing delays in getting everyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccination a shot.

Friday morning, state health officials admitted that the snow and ice slowed down deliveries of the vaccine in certain parts of the commonwealth, and that could push back goals of having all residents successfully vaccinated.

“We’ve seen delays come through, just because of the weather and some of those allocations issues, and so again, I think we have to be realistic and look to where we’re at this time of year. I think we’re still shooting for everyone by the summer,” said Department of Health Senior Advisor Lindsey Mauldin.

Pennsylvania is still working to finish vaccinating all those who would be covered under the state’s “1A” category.

Health officials said it’s still too soon to know just when Johnson & Johnson’s version of the COVID-19 vaccine will be available for distribution.

They told reporters that J&J’s one-dose version is still waiting for approval, but that should be coming soon.

“No allocations are going to be finalized until after the emergency use authorization is granted — one that is or if it is granted and approved — we’ll be working with the legislative task force and our partners on the ground to review determinations on allocations, hopefully early next week,” Mauldin said.

To date, nearly 2.25 million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been administered in Pennsylvania.

Friday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health also reported an additional 3,346 positive cases of COVID-19 and 69 more deaths since Thursday, when 2,356 positive cases were reported.

That brings the statewide total to 922,990 cases and 23,868 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

There are 1,972 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. Of that number, 433 patients are in the intensive care unit with COVID-19. Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older. More data is available here.

The trend in the 14-day moving average number of hospitalized patients per day is about 3,800 lower than it was at the peak on December 25, 2020. However, the current 14-day average is just below what it was at the height of the spring peak on May 3, 2020.

Statewide percent positivity for the week of February 12 – February 18 stood at 6.5%.

County-specific information and a statewide map are available on the COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

There are 109,935 individuals who have a positive viral antigen test and are considered probable cases and 636 individuals who have a positive serology test and either COVID-19 symptoms or a high-risk exposure. 

There are 3,863,935 individuals who have tested negative to date.

In licensed nursing and personal care homes, there are 66,674 resident cases of COVID-19, and 12,987 cases among employees, for a total of 79,377 at 1,566 distinct facilities in all 67 counties. Out of total deaths reported to PA-NEDSS, 12,371 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care facilities. A county breakdown can be found here. Note that the number of deaths reported to NEDSS is not exactly the same as the COVID-19 related deaths reported by the death registry. The number of deaths among nursing and personal care home residents and employees is taken from the PA-NEDSS death data, as this information is not available in the death registry data.

Approximately 24,679 of the total cases are among health care workers.

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