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COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: Leaders Say There Are Still 2 Million People Remaining In Phase 1A

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Starting on Thursday, thousands of teachers across the state will start getting vaccinated against the coronavirus.

In Pittsburgh, there will be two clinics giving out two types of vaccines for Pittsburgh Public School staff. KDKA has learned that the thousands of Pfizer doses that will be given out came from the federal government with a stipulation that those doses go to teachers.

Giant Eagle Pharmacy received 3,000 Pfizer doses this week with that stipulation, pushing the company to partner with Pittsburgh Public Schools.

The teachers and staff who couldn't secure a dose in the state's J&J vaccine initiative will have the opportunity to get a shot at Heinz Field on Thursday and Friday. As for the J&J shots, both the city and county's intermediate units plan to start vaccinating its list of teachers this week.

The Giant Eagle partnership won't impact that initiative, but rather open more J&J doses in the next round for other school staff members in our region.

"We can reallocate that. Ninety-four-thousand doses of Johnson & Johnson was not enough to do all the teachers in the state at one time. So the fact that some teachers are getting vaccinated elsewhere, that's OK. We will continue to vaccinate more teachers with all the vaccines we have," said Barry Ciccocioppo with the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

The state is still surveying teachers to find out how many more doses will be needed.

We are seeing more mass vaccination clinics pop up, but state leaders report only 15 percent of the state's population is vaccinated. We are starting to see more doses each week but are only about halfway through Phase 1A.

The state said 2.1 million people are fully vaccinated, but that leaves about two million more to go. It's unclear when Pennsylvania will move to Phase 1B.

"We are getting closer to the point that we will have vaccinated everyone in 1A. And when we get additional doses of Johnson & Johnson, which we are expecting later this month, then we will be able to move faster and that's when we will set up community vaccination clinics across the state," Ciccocioppo said.

Locally, St. Clair Hospital has not received first dose shots in nearly three weeks. The state anticipating the hospital could see that change in the next week.

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