Over 1,200 frontline workers receive Pfizer vaccine, Moderna could be on the way

Local News

(WTAJ) — A key FDA advisory board voted on Thursday to recommend the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for approval.

Thursday afternoon, Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine gave an update on where the Commonwealth stands on immunizations at this point.

The Department of Health said 16 hospitals have received doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, administering it to just over 1,200 frontline workers so far, but Dr. Levine said this is just the beginning of a long road ahead.

The Wednesday winter storm didn’t slow down Operation Warp Speed.

“Vaccine delivery has not been delayed because of the snow so far, and hospitals are working as quickly as possible to administer the vaccine,” Dr. Levine said.

This week’s portion of the Pfizer vaccine totals 97,500 doses spread across Pennsylvania. Hospitals in our area, like Mount Nittany in Centre County and UPMC Altoona, received their shipments already. But more is needed.

“We are also, and this is a critical point, dependent upon how much vaccine is actually delivered to us by operation warp speed. That depends on how quickly the vaccine can be manufactured by the pharmaceutical companies,” Dr. Levine said.

The FDA’s approval of the Moderna vaccine could potential come by the end of this week, and two other vaccines from Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca are nearly there.

But the commonwealth continues to see the aftermath of thanksgiving gatherings, and there are still concerns over the remaining holidays.

“We all want this to be over. We all want to celebrate the holidays together and to be with the people we love, but this year, we simply can’t,” Secretary Levine said.

Dr. Levine said the remaining 71 hospitals in the Commonwealth will receive their doses of the Pfizer vaccine by the end of this week.

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