Gov. Tom Wolf Says State Is On Pace To Vaccinate Everyone By End Of April

The governor has gotten plenty of criticism as neighboring states have lowered their vaccine eligibility requirements and Pennsylvania hasn't. As KDKA's Andy Sheehan reports, Gov. Tom Wolf is preaching patience as Pennsylvania wraps up its 1A eligibility group tomorrow.

Video Transcript

- Now from schools to vaccines. Governor Wolf on the defensive today, saying Pennsylvania is on pace to have every willing resident vaccinated by the end of April. The governor has gotten plenty of criticism as neighboring states have lowered their vaccine eligibility requirements, and Pennsylvania has not.

- As KDKA investigator Andy Sheehan reports, the governor is preaching patience as PA wraps up its 1A eligibility group tomorrow.

ANDY SHEEHAN: A shot in the arm of every Pennsylvanian who wants one. Despite the voices of critics, Governor Wolf says the state is on pace to do just that by the end of April.

TOM WOLF: Our goal is to administer the vaccine as quickly, as fairly, and ethically as we possibly can.

ANDY SHEEHAN: In the face of criticism, Governor Wolf defended the state's rollout of the vaccine. Touring this vaccination site in Dauphin County, he said the state is on pace to get a vaccine in the arm of most everyone who wants one by the end of April.

TOM WOLF: My back-of-the-envelope, Excel spreadsheet calculation is that, you know, by the end of April, early May, we should be at a point where we should have enough vaccines that have come through the system to satisfy everybody who at least wants the first vaccine.

ANDY SHEEHAN: After a slow initial rollout, Pennsylvania is improving, having administered 5.7 million doses, which the governor notes is among the highest in the nation. We're now 22nd in the nation, with 81% of our allotted doses administered, and 12th with 31% of the population having received at least one dose. And while other states have dropped their age and eligibility requirements, Wolf says we have stayed in group 1A because we have an older population over 65.

TOM WOLF: Pennsylvania is one of the more senior states and so, especially when you put so many-- you make such a big proportion of your 1A population, your priority population, folks 65 and older, well Pennsylvania has a big chunk of those.

ANDY SHEEHAN: Wolf says everyone in 1A should have had at least one dose, or have been scheduled for one dose, by tomorrow. But did not commit to when he'll be reducing the threshold for everyone else.

TOM WOLF: I mean, we're talking about that now, as to when, how we want to move through the-- beyond where we are right now.

ANDY SHEEHAN: And the governor remained noncommittal on just exactly when we'll be moving down to 1B and the other eligibility groups. But he indicated those announcements will be coming shortly. Reporting downtown, Andy Sheehan, KDKA News.