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.

- 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 form of most everyone who wants one by the end of April.

TOM WOLF: My back of the envelope Excel spreadsheet calculation is that 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.

- Pennsylvania is one of the more senior states. So especially when you make such a big proportion of your 1A population, your priority population, folks 65 and older, well, Pennsylvania has a big chunk of it.

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.

- I mean, we're talking about that now as to when and how we want to move through 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.