PA revises map that has often led to dead ends for COVID-19 vaccine applicants


Drawing people a map is not always a useful thing.

A typical example is the Pennsylvania map of locations that are supposed to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The State Department of Health map used green dots to indicate which health care providers had it in stock.

But after Pennsylvania opened the floodgates for vaccine demand two weeks ago by making everyone over 65 and many others immediately eligible, the card got nowhere for many Pennsylvanians.

In some places marked with a green dot, supplies were only intended for local health care providers. In others, the doses available to non-health professionals were quickly demanded. Many places, due to the crippling volume of calls, have become inaccessible.

Now the state has removed the green and red dots indicating the status of the vaccine supply. Since Tuesday afternoon, it contains only blue dots.

Blue dots indicate providers who are part of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution program. In most places, people can click on the item to find contact information.

“The use of blue dots indicates the location of registered vaccine providers. Because in many cases only providers know whether or not they have appointments available, we felt that this change would be the best representation for the public. Anyone looking to make an appointment should check with the provider if they have a vaccine and an appointment, ”state health department spokesman Barry Ciccocioppo said Tuesday afternoon.

Others have said that the best way to get as close as possible to the vaccine frontier is to stay in close contact with your doctor.

About 4 million Pennsylvanians are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, which is available to people 65 years of age and older and people 16 to 64 years of age with chronic illnesses.

Still, the number of green dots – or at least green dots that stay green for any length of time – will likely stay low for weeks.

Pennsylvania expects approximately 160,000 doses this week for people receiving their first dose. The state is receiving an additional amount for people who received their first dose three weeks ago.

Some of the 160,000 doses are reserved for health workers, although most have been vaccinated, and health care providers such as large health systems are in the process of transitioning to a larger portion of their allocations. the provision of non-health workers.

Another portion of the 160,000 doses goes to people living in long-term care facilities. State officials predict that it will be necessary to wait until the end of February to finish vaccinating them.

State health officials hope the federal government’s vaccine supply will increase significantly by the week. Yet the calculations clearly show that it will take several weeks to vaccinate all Pennsylvanians who are currently eligible.

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