HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — COVID-19 vaccines will be sent to more providers in Pennsylvania, widening the distribution network this week to include doctors, small pharmacies and others as part of its effort to overcome lingering hesitancy among residents who have yet to get the shot.
The Health Department said Wednesday it allocated more than 295,000 doses to 383 providers, up from 225 providers that received shipments last week.
The state is gradually adding providers after having directed the state's weekly vaccine allotment to hospitals, pharmacy chains and other larger providers that could swiftly administer the shots. As demand for the vaccine begins to slow, state officials said they are are shifting focus to hard-to-reach areas and populations.
“People who aren't sure about getting a vaccine can get information — and a vaccine — from their trusted health care provider. That does a lot to address the concerns about hesitancy,” Gov. Tom Wolf said Wednesday at a vaccine clinic in Washington County.
He said more providers will be added in coming weeks “as we keep moving out from big facilities” and “figure out how we can get closer to people, which means putting it in the hands of people you trust.”
Pennsylvania has administered first doses of COVID-19 vaccines to about 48% of its eligible population of everyone 16 and older. More than 5.2 million people have received at least their first dose.