WARREN, Pa. – Warren General Hospital was not included on the list of 87 hospitals set to receive the state’s initial doses of the newly approved COVID-19 vaccine.
(Photo courtesy UPMC. Initial doses of the recently approved COVID-19 vaccine arrived at UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh Monday.)
The list, released late Monday afternoon, did include both UPMC Hamot and AHN Saint Vincent in Erie, as well as Meadville Medical Center and Titusville Area Hospital.
Calls to WGH for comment were not returned as of 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Pennsylvania is slated to receive a total of 111,150 doses of the vaccine, 13,650 in Philadelphia County and 97,500 spread through 66 other counties.
“This is a pivotal development in the fight against COVID-19, in Pennsylvania and the nation,” Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said in a release. “This limited supply of vaccine signals the start of the process to end COVID-19’s devastating impacts on every community in the commonwealth. However, it is important to remember that we are still months away from being able to vaccinate all Pennsylvanians, making mitigation efforts more important than ever to save lives.”
UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh and Monongahela Valley Hospital south of Pittsburgh received their vaccines Monday. The remaining hospitals will receive their shipments by Monday, Dec. 21.
Hospital sites were selected by their ability to manage the cold chain requirement with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, completion of the COVID-19 provider agreement, and successful onboarding with the Department of Health for necessary documentation for vaccination, according to the release. The number of doses, recipient hospitals, and arrival dates are subject to change based on updated information from the federal government and Pfizer.
These initial doses will be administered to healthcare workers.
“These first doses of vaccine are being given specifically to healthcare workers through hospitals,” Levine said. “Hospitals are making arrangements to implement these vaccinations, not only to their own frontline staff but to other high-priority recipients. The number of people we can immunize truly depends on how quickly the manufacturers can make the vaccine.”
Levine also issued an order Monday that requires vaccine providers to report information to the department on individuals who are vaccinated. COVID-19 immunization providers are required to report patient information, including gender, race and ethnicity to the DOH within 24 hours of administering the vaccine.
The vaccine will be available in phases beginning with critical populations due to the limited supply. The first phase is divided into two parts, with the first doses of vaccine administered to health care workers, EMS first responders and residents and staff in congregate care settings.