By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — COVID-19 is on the upswing again in Pennsylvania with nearly 13,000 new cases being reported between Sunday and Monday. There also continues to be a lag in vaccinations.

Vaccinations have been slow around the country. Pennsylvania is close to receiving a million doses but only a fraction have been administered.

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The state still hasn’t released plans for the next phase of vaccinations. Now, there is a growing concern and a lot of unanswered questions but the secretary of health is asking for patience.

“We all need to do better,” said Dr. Rachel Levine.

She is acknowledging that the rollout of vaccines in Pennsylvania has been slow, with the state still focused on phase one.

However, the expansion is coming but there are no details on when or how.

“We must show patience as the amount of vaccine available to Pennsylvania is still extremely limited and it will take several months before there is enough vaccine available for everyone,” Dr. Levine said

The state has over half a million doses of unused vaccine.

Dr. Levine said the state has so far received enough to vaccinate 827,300 people but the number of doses administered is 285,671.

That leaves 541,629 doses of the vaccine not used.

“I think it’s a misconception that thousands of doses are just sitting there,” said Dr. Levine.

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We asked for clarification. In the past, the state has said administering the vaccine is complicated.

“We are all rolling out the vaccine as quickly as we can, it will take time to continue to do that,” Dr. Levine said.

The state has now identified who will be in the next round of essential workers — the 1-B group includes food and postal workers, along with people in education and public transportation.

But there’s no information on vaccination sites or registrations, something that other states already have.

“I would sit tight as we relay that information as we roll out that program,” said Dr. Levine.

She also said that the state is receiving 138,000 doses of vaccine from the federal government this week.

It’s still currently available only to those in health care and at nursing homes.


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Stephanie Stahl