While COVID-19 case numbers are going down, frustrations are on the rise about the lack of vaccine distribution across Erie County.
This comes as thousands of people who are eligible for the vaccine are still waiting for their vaccine in phase 1A.
Here is the reaction from Erie County Health officials and their efforts to roll out the vaccine faster once more supplies become available.
The Erie County Health Department told us that the lack of vaccines available in Erie County could be related to our population and necessity of the vaccine.
This is compared to other counties in the state with more cases.
Frustration is building as Erie County faces a lack of available COVID-19 vaccines.
“There’s just not a lot of vaccine that’s coming to the commonwealth to be distributed in large quantities. I think we’re feeling that the supply isn’t meeting the demand,” said Melissa Lyons, Health Director of the Erie County Department of Health.
Lyon said when ordering COVID-19 vaccines, the second dose is prioritized before the first dose for approval and shipment.
County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper said that it’s inevitable that some residents could travel to receive their vaccines.
“If someone has a physician here, we don’t want to deny someone that just lives over the state line, these boundaries are just boundaries,” said Kathy Dahlkemper, Erie County Executive.
Erie County Health officials said while the state’s infrastructures operate different, there needs to be a more efficient vaccine plan.
Dahlkemper added that a number of phone calls are being made in search of additional vaccine supply.
“There’s other counties that are much smaller than us per capita that have received more vaccine and I have brought that to the attention to the state,” said Dahlkemper.
The health department added that while the case numbers have been lowered, residents can’t let their guard down.
Dahlkemper added that there is still no conversation on when some restrictions could be eased and that it would be up to Governor Wolf’s administration.