Pa. health secretary says it’s unclear how quickly vaccine supply would meet demand


Dr. Rachel Levine says the state will give the vaccine to the critical population first

(WKBN) – Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine talked about the state being ready for a vaccine and that the first shipment could come next month.

Levine said there are still no dates as to when a vaccine for COVID-19 will be available, but Pennsylvania will be ready.

It’s still unclear how quickly the vaccine supply would meet demand.

She said the vaccine will be given to the critical population — older Pennsylvanians and health care workers — first. This first phase will be the initial limited supply of the vaccine that is made available.

The second phase will happen once a larger supply of the vaccine is available. It will focus on any critical people who were not vaccinated in the first phase, then turn efforts toward the general population.

The third and final phase laid out will happen once there is a sufficient supply of the vaccine and the demand is slowing down.

Levine thinks once a vaccine is available, this plan will make sure everyone in the commonwealth is vaccinated.

“We anticipate, again, that we’re going to be rolling this out through the winter and then the spring and into the summer. It could take us a significant amount of time to immunize everyone in Pennsylvania. I anticipate that we’re going to be wearing masks in 2021, well into — maybe to the end of 2021,” she said.

Levine warned even though a vaccine could potentially be available in the next couple of months, the virus will still be here — the pandemic will not just go away.

She said wearing a mask, social distancing and good hygiene will continue to be key factors in stopping its spread.

Pennsylvania set a new record with 7,126 new coronavirus infections on Thursday.

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