BLAIR COUNTY, ALTOONA, PA (WTAJ) — Although there is no set time for vaccines to roll out to those in phase 1b, one pharmacy in Blair County is already scheduling appointments.
Owner of Thompson Pharmacy, Bill Thompson, says phase 1b appointments are already booked for Thursday. He says “we believe it may be Thursday that they will go to phase 1b and at that time it will be scheduled for Thursday…If it gets delayed, we’ll delay our vaccine.”
Thompson Pharmacy has distributed their first round from their location on Chestnut Ave. in Altoona. This is their only location that will be receiving vaccinations. When they are permitted to vaccinate those in phase 1b, police and firefighters in Altoona, Hollidaysburg, Bellwood and Tyrone are first in line.
Altoona Fire Chief/Emergency Management Coordinator, Tim Hileman says he has 132 staff for who he plans to make appointments by the end of the month. He says “it seems counter-productive to just sit here because we’re waiting for somebody to say go when they have it available…It’s a little bit frustrating to know that in a day or two from now, I might be down enough people that it’s hard to staff when we have fires.”
Hileman was one of the first people contacted by Thompson after having 16 firefighters test positive.
Thompson Pharmacy’s vaccines will be distributed to first responders working for fire departments and then to police officers. The pharmacy will also vaccinate others within the phase 1b vaccination group.
Thompson Pharmacy got their first batch of 1500 doses last week and are expecting another round next week.