(The Center Square) – Officials in Pennsylvania said Monday approximately 135,000 residents have been vaccinated since mid-December, falling far short of expectations set by the federal government.
Nationally, about 2 million doses have been administered out of more than 14 million shipped to states. Pennsylvania will receive 166,000 Pfizer and 80,000 Moderna units this week – all destined for hospitals, nursing homes and personal care facilities.
“I really think that some of the estimates from the federal government, especially estimates during the holidays, were higher than they should have been,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said Monday. “It was always going to be a challenge during those two or three weeks to be able to administer the vaccines that were sent to us.”
States will share as much as $8 billion in federal aid to speed up immunization plans – a pot of money Levine said will be “essential” to launch more widespread vaccination efforts. Still, the general public likely won’t receive their first doses for another several months.
The news comes the same day Gov. Tom Wolf lifted a three week ban on indoor dining and other entertainment venues amid an alarming uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations. As of Monday, just under 5,600 residents are receiving in patient treatment for the virus and, of those, fewer than 1,200 are in the intensive care unit.