Shelters struggle to vaccinate Pittsburgh’s homeless

Vaccinate Central Pa.

FILE – This April 2, 2021, file photo shows bridges spanning the Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh. Republicans in Congress are making the politically brazen bet that it’s more advantageous to oppose President Joe Biden’s ambitious rebuild America agenda than to lend support for the costly $2.3 trillion undertaking for roads, bridges and other infrastructure investments. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — From the beginning of the pandemic, homeless individuals have been especially vulnerable to COVID-19 transmission.

Congregate living in shelters poses many of the same risks of transmission as in nursing homes and correctional facilities. Studies show homeless people are more likely to contract severe cases that require hospitalization and death, due to the prevalence of several health issues and difficulty following public health guidelines.

Shelters have had to significantly alter their processes to keep people safe. And as vaccine availability improves, those workers are still grappling with hesitancy and difficulty reaching a transient population.

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