The Pennsylvania Department of Health has now expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all adults; KDKA's Lindsay Ward reports.
KRISTINE SORENSEN: As health-care providers figure out their next steps with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Pennsylvania is opening up eligibility to everyone 16 and older. This comes just one day after people in Phase 1C became eligible. Lindsay Ward is on the South Side right now at a clinic and joins us live. Lindsay.
LINDSAY WARD: Kristine, good afternoon. I spoke to the Chief Medical Officer of Pittsburgh Mercy here in the South Side. This is where a vaccination clinic is happening today. Now, he tells me, it's about time that more people in Pennsylvania will be eligible to sign up for the vaccine.
- I'm going to give you your card.
LINDSAY WARD: It didn't take long for the over-200 available appointments to be booked at the Pittsburgh Mercy facility. The community-based location focuses on behavioral and physical health, but Tuesday's vaccine clinic was for anyone 18 and older.
VICTOR WILLIAMS: I think that, if everyone gets the vaccine, then things will start to get better. We won't have to wear masks all the time.
LINDSAY WARD: Victor Williams is a student at Pine-Richland High School. He says, getting the shot is about giving him the freedom to be around more people.
VICTOR WILLIAMS: I'm a big athlete at my school, and so I want to be able to continue to do the sports that I love.
LINDSAY WARD: Since the beginning of the year, Pittsburgh Mercy has administered over 8,000 shots of the Moderna vaccine.
TODD WAHRENBERGER: I'm really glad that we can try and help everybody.
LINDSAY WARD: Dr. Todd Wahrenberger is the chief medical officer at the facility. He says, there were times people were either not signing up or showing up for the vaccine, leaving vacancies.
TODD WAHRENBERGER: Normally, we have years to plan these kind of rollouts, and we're doing it so fast that I think it's inevitable that we're going to have problems.
LINDSAY WARD: But that changed this week with the new eligibility.
TODD WAHRENBERGER: Until we reach this next general group, and now I think it's going to be easy for a little while. People are going to be wanting to get the vaccination.
LINDSAY WARD: And the facility tells me they anticipate to have more vaccine clinics like this one that can serve all in our area. Reporting live in the South Side, I'm Lindsay Ward, KDKA News.