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COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: Vaccine Demand Still Trumps Supply

PITTSBURGH, PA (KDKA) - Across the area, people are calling and searching for vaccine appointments for loved ones.

For the last several weeks, the state of Pennsylvania has received just over 140,000 first dose vaccines. With the expansion of supply from the Biden administration, that number will grow to 160,000 next week, but it's not enough.

"We have received requests for about 700,000 vaccine doses so we know there is not enough vaccine coming into Pennsylvania to meet that request," said the Department of Health's Communications Director.

Hutchinson said the state allotment isn't enough so the state is having to make decisions on who gets those coveted doses.

"We then use a formula looking at population, population 65 and over, percent positivity and death rate along with other factors like inventory on hand," Hutchinson said.

Based off that formula, Hutchinson said the federal government delivers those doses directly to the counties and local providers.

"You get what you get. We don't know what we are going to get until it gets there. It's the same as it was with test kits, protective equipment. All of these pieces," Hutchinson said.

Once the state receives more doses, there will be a launch of community vaccination clinics. With the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in the headlines, Hutchinson said a single dose will be a gamechanger.

"In week one, I made an appointment, but I have to go back in week three or four at the same time someone else is trying to get in," Hutchinson said.

As for just how many people are left in Phase 1A to be vaccinated, it's still unclear.

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