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Supply, demand prompts early vaccine access for Pennsylvanians 16+

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Starting Tuesday, April 13, all adults are now eligible to receive a COVID vaccine.

“We are in a different place than we were in January so there’s a few things that have changed,” PA Department of Health acting secretary Alison Beam said.

As case counts continue to rise and the nation is now tracking more contagious variants. The Keystone State is now trying to put any kind of vaccine rollout issues in the rear-view.

What was supposed to be the priority on essential and frontline workers Monday, was quickly preempted.

Department of Health Acting Secretary Alison Beam announced on Monday that all Pennsylvanians ages 16 and up are eligible for vaccination beginning Tuesday (18+ for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, 16+ for Pfizer).

Originally, everyone in Phase 2 was to be eligible on April 19. As she explained, trends of no-show appointments and increased supply were a major factor.

“Starting roughly last week, we continue to hear that providers were having a lot of difficulty scheduling appointments and throughout this entire rollout, we’ve stuck to the principle of no wasted dose right, we realized that the need to keep the demand at its highest propensity possible was incredibly important,” Beam said. “And so, that’s why we’ve progressed to phase two, to allow us to again sustain that demand which can keep the pace of the vaccinations up.”

Of course, what would appear to be the home stretch on the way to normalcy now begins. As CDC numbers stand, less than a quarter of Pennsylvanians have been fully vaccinated.

And as we’ve heard from medical experts before, it will take at least three times that to reach any kind of effective ‘herd immunity.’

The state’s goal is to get 80% of the population fully vaccinated for a return to normalcy.

To see possible locations you can obtain a COVID-19 vaccine, head here. For the latest in vaccination efforts across Northeast and Central Pennsylvania, visit our Vaccinate NEPA page.

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