HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS/AP) — More than 17,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to health care workers at Pennsylvania hospitals, the state health secretary said Monday, as hospitals remain stressed by coronavirus patient loads and a second vaccine from Moderna is expected to arrive this week. Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said 87 hospitals have thus far received doses of the first vaccine, from Pfizer, with another 30,000 doses due to arrive this week.
“Since the first doses of the vaccines have arrived in Pennsylvania one week ago, 17,700 health care workers have received their first dose. The first 87 hospitals to receive vaccine continue to work to immunize health care workers, but it will take some time,” Dr. Levine said.
In addition, hospitals in the state are slated to start receiving 198,000 doses of the newly approved Moderna vaccine this week, Levine said.
As part of a federal partnership, CVS and Walgreen’s next week will start on-site vaccination services for residents and staff of skilled nursing facilities across the state, Levine said. Those facilities will receive the Pfizer vaccine, she said.
In the meantime, Levine said even people who are receiving the vaccine should continue to observe efforts to stem the spread of the virus, including wearing a mask and social-distancing protocols.
Gov. Tom Wolf has imposed a series of shutdowns through Jan. 4, including youth sports and other extracurricular activities, gyms, theaters and casinos, and indoor dining at restaurants amid rising infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths. The shutdown orders have drawn lawsuits, and a growing list of businesses vowing to defy the orders and stay open.
The daily load of positive cases has dropped since Wolf imposed the restrictions on Dec. 12, although hospitalizations have continued to rise.
Pennsylvania reported Monday more than 7,700 new cases of COVID-19 and 57 new deaths.
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