HARRISBURG (KDKA) – People across the state are still trying to figure out how and when they can get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Despite Gov. Tom Wolf’s vows to do better, the state is struggling to distribute the vaccine.
“I think Pennsylvania could do a little better job than what they have done,” said David Wilson.
At 82 years old, Wilson is just one of millions of Pennsylvanians desperately seeking a COVID-19 vaccine. But without a computer or any guidance, he came down to the Spartan Pharmacy in Bethel Park Monday to try to get one.
“I don’t have a laptop and tried to come down and have someone put my name in but I’m going to have to find someone who has a laptop to put it in,” he said.
Without a central state vaccine registry, many people are registering on multiple pharmacy sites, hoping to get a slot. But pharmacy owner Adam Rice has closed his online call list at 15,000 for lack of supply.
“We had to stop that because what’s the point of being number 15,001? We have to get through this list of people,” he said.
Lack of supply is a problem, but Pennsylvania has struggled to administer the doses it’s already been allocated.
According to the CDC, Pennsylvania ranks just 44th in the nation in getting the vaccine into the arms of its people. It’s administered 1,088,172 vaccines out of 1,976,925 allocated — just 55 percent.
In addition, the state is only 37th in the percentage of its population vaccinated — 6.7 percent with the first dose and 1.7 percent with the second. In comparison, though much smaller in population, West Virginia has vaccinated 10.7 percent of its people with the first dose and 3.7 with the second.
But despite the problems of managing demand, Rice believes it’s too late for the state to set up a central register. Instead, he believes the state should flood the pharmacies with supply as soon as it comes in.
“I can move it. All my colleagues can move it. Every independent pharmacy I know is waiting,” he said.