PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s suburban counties want answers, saying they’re not getting their fair share of COVID-19 vaccines from the state. The standoff continues.
Montgomery County officials say they’re still waiting for a clear explanation from the state health department about why they aren’t getting more vaccines.READ MORE: Nearly Half Of Nursing Home Workers In Pennsylvania Have Declined COVID-19 Vaccine, State Data Shows
“It’s been enormously frustrating,” Montgomery County Board of Commissioners Chair Dr. Val Arkoosh said. “We’re just asking for simple transparency here.”
Arkoosh still doesn’t know why Montgomery County appears to be getting shortchanged on vaccine distortion from the state. There are similar complaints from Bucks, Delaware and Chester Counties.
“Our workforce flows back and forth between all our counties,” Arkoosh said. “We provide an enormous amount of tax revenue to the commonwealth, so it is critical that we get this area vaccinated.”
The state claims its limited supplies are being fairly distributed around the state, but requests for follow-up details have not been answered.
“It was a clear as mud and we’ve got no follow up in transparency,” Montgomery County Commissioner Kenneth Lawrence said.READ MORE: CBS3 Pet Project: Tips For Getting Your Dog To Walk On A Leash
Montgomery County is one of the biggest counties in the state and had an early surge of cases a year ago that’s only now starting to level off. Recently, the positivity rate has fallen below 5%.
“This is great progress,” Arkoosh said. “We’re almost down to suppression range.”
Montgomery County is currently running two mass vaccination clinics, providing protection to about 1,000 people a day and officials want to open a third site near the Willow Grove Mall.
But that’s on hold for now.
“We just do not have enough vaccine to expand our operations right now,” Arkoosh said. “There’s been no change in our allocation.”
CBS3 also requested clarification from the state health department and received no answer.MORE NEWS: Seven People Hospitalized After Crash In North Philadelphia: Police
Arkoosh said Wednesday the county is starting a mobile outreach vaccination program for people who are homebound. They hope to expand that too, but it all depends on getting more vaccines from the state.