WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — At present, UPMC Susquehanna, the largest hospital in Williamsport, says they don’t have any doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for the general population, and are eagerly awaiting an update from Harrisburg as to when more might be on the way.
“The information we’re receiving from Harrisburg, we don’t have a lot right now as to the how, what and when of the next layers of the vaccine that we’ll have available to us,” said Dave Lopatofsky, MD/Chief Medical Officer, UPMC Susquehanna.
Vaccine-eligible residents in Williamsport are voicing concern and confusion about the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out.
Limited access to vaccine clinics has left many eager to sign up, out of luck.
“Same thing this morning, it says “all filled – try again tomorrow.” And so, it was the same thing yesterday,” said Bernie Katz, Owner, Le Chocolat.
While the largest hospital in the county, UPMC Susquehanna, says they have vaccines for personnel and first responders, but, as of now, none for the general public.
“We’re very eager to be part of this solution and is a bit frustrating to have to wait to understand when we’ll be receiving some vaccines,” said Lopatofsky.
The upshot? Many area residents, like Le Chocolat owner Bernie Katz, have been forced to sign up for more time slots in Jersey Shore or Danville, some of them many weeks away.
“We are the largest city in Lycoming County. I mean, none of our drug stores here are doing it, or have it. CVS or Rite Aid or anybody, so it’s like wow,” said Katz.
Dr. Lopatofsky says when they do receive that next wave of doses, UPMC will work with other health care providers in the region to help make up for the current lag.
“We really think this will take a village, and we welcome the opportunity to work with all of the providers in our area so that we can work together and provide those immunizations for patients in our communities,” said Lopatofsky.
As far as Bernie Katz goes, he said he considers himself one of the lucky ones. He was able to secure a spot in Jersey Shore in about two weeks, but many more, still without that luxury.
For the latest information on the vaccine, visit our Tracking Vaccine Rollout in Pennsylvania page.