More vaccine coming; region adds 2 virus cases

Randy Griffith, The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.
·3 min read

Feb. 17—More vaccine doses are coming to Pennsylvania and area pharmacies in the coming weeks.

President Joe Biden's administration announced Tuesday it is increasing coronavirus vaccine supplies sent to states to 13.5 million doses per week, the Associated Press reported.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki says that represents a 57% increase from when Biden took office nearly a month ago on Jan. 20.

The administration is doubling, to 2 million doses per week, the amount of vaccine being sent to pharmacies across the country as part of a program to extend access into neighborhoods, Psaki said.

Jeff Zients, Biden's coronavirus coordinator, made the announcements during a regular White House call with governors on Tuesday.

Those eligible to receive vaccine include anyone age 65 and older, those aged 17 to 64 with certain health conditions, health care workers and residents of long-term care homes.

Information about local vaccine providers with contact information can be found on the state's main website, pa.gov, and clicking the "Getting the COVID vaccine" link.

More than 1.7 million doses of vaccine have been administered to Pennsylvanians, with another 326,850 doses arriving this week.

The state's total allocation will reach 2,766,400 doses by Saturday. As of Monday, 1,703,685 doses had been administered to Pennsylvanians, including 1,282,045 first doses and 421,640 second doses.

Across Cambria, Somerset, Bedford and Blair counties, 25,992 people have received an initial dose of vaccine and 12,811 have received a second dose and are considered completely protected.

Meanwhile, the state's COVID-19 report continues to flatten.

Only two deaths and 193 cases were added to the eight-county region's totals in Tuesday's Pennsylvania Department of Health updates.

More than half of the new cases came from Westmoreland County, with 98 additional COVID-19 positives on Tuesday.

Cambria and Blair counties each added one death attributed to COVID-19.

Tuesday saw 3,151 new cases and 30 additional deaths statewide, bringing Pennsylvania's totals to 899,237 cases and 23,126 deaths since the pandemic struck in March.

Cambria and Indiana counties each had 11 new cases, Somerset and Bedford counties each had 10 new cases, Blair County had nine new cases, Centre County had 14 new cases and Clearfield County had 30 new cases on Tuesday.

Tuesday's report brought the seven-day rolling average down to 3,189 cases a day. It's the 12th consecutive day with a seven-day average below 4,000 cases a day and the 17th consecutive day with fewer than 5,000 cases.

There were nine days in December with more than 10,000 new cases, and the seven-day average peaked at 10,579 cases a day on Dec. 16.

Cambria, Somerset, Bedford, Indiana and Westmoreland counties are among 11 counties with moderate community transmission of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.

Blair, Clearfield and Centre are among 51 counties that continue to have substantial community spread, the health department said in a press release. Only Cameron County — the state's smallest by population — has low community spread.