Dept. of Health discusses vaccine distribution, hospital overwhelming


Vaccines will be distributed in phases, with frontline workers up first

HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine and Dr. Ronald Strony, Co-Chair of Emergency Medicine at Geisinger, discussed the surge hospitals are seeing due to the coronavirus. They also discussed how vaccines will be distributed in the commonwealth.

There will be three phases to vaccine distribution. Phase one will include hospital personnel, medical professionals, people aged 65 and older and long-term care facility residents and staff. The Dept. of Health says they expect Phase 2 will include more dosages being available for remaining Phase 1 populations and beginning the vaccination of the general population. They also say they expect Phase 3 to include a sufficient supply of vaccines for the entire population.

Dr. Levine discussed that hospitals should limit elective procedures and surgeries to prevent hospital overcrowding. The Department of Health is contacting hospitals to see if they have enough beds, and how many may be necessary with the number of coronavirus patients being seen.

“We will be watching our numbers carefully, but in the end we will do what we can to protect the public health of Pennsylvania,” Dr. Levine said.

Dr. Levine emphasized the ‘stay at home’ advisory that is in place, to prevent hospitals from running out of staff or ICU beds.

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