Pennsylvania’s botched vaccine rollout: 100,000 second doses given as firsts

Under Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s leadership, Pennsylvania is grossly mishandling its state vaccine rollout.

Officials discovered this week that 100,000 doses of the Moderna COVD-19 vaccine that were earmarked for those awaiting their second dose were given to people as first doses, the Washington Examiner reported. The mistake has been occurring since early January, although it was just discovered over the weekend.

Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Alison Beam said that 30,000 to 60,000 people would need their second dose vaccine appointments rescheduled over the coming weeks to make up for the error.

“In short, we are faced with second dose Moderna vaccine requests far exceeding the Moderna vaccine allocated to the state this week,” Beam said.

PA vaccine rollout lagging

Around four million people in Pennsylvania currently meet the qualifications for receiving the virus, which include residents 65 and older, workers in several essential capacities like health care and those with chronic or severe risk factors for severe disease.

So far, 1.7 million of the state’s allocated 2.7 million vaccine doses have been given administered, but only 3% of the state has been fully vaccinated.

As noted by The Center Square, “The statistics rank Pennsylvania near the bottom of the pack in terms of vaccine administration across the country.”

Penn State Health told Harrisburg’s WITF that it was directed by the state health department not to hold back vaccines marked as second doses.

“On a call with providers approximately two weeks ago, the PA Department of Health specifically directed providers to not hold back COVID-19 vaccine doses for second vaccinations,” hospital spokesperson Scott Gilbert said. “At that time, DOH also assured providers that additional vaccine would be made available for use as second doses. Penn State Health followed this directive, as it has all DOH guidance since vaccines initially became available in Pennsylvania in December.”

“Scarcity”

Beam said that adjustments are being made that will resolve the issue.

“We are not here to have blame placed anywhere,” she said. “Instead, we want to make sure that all of us are focusing on the path forward.”

Despite the fact that around a million vaccine doses sent to the state from the federal government have not been administered, Beam said that “ultimately, it’s a scarcity of commodity” that is to blame for the poor rollout.

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