As questions continue to surround the COVID-19 Vaccine and its effectiveness, Local Representatives and Health Officials hosted a Town Hall to address some of the confusion. We attended the virtual Town Hall and share what were some of the most asked questions.
During a virtual Town Hall, State Representatives from across Western Pennsylvania joined in along with residents to ask questions directly to Pennsylvania’s Department of Health and the State’s Emergency Management Agency. DOH’s Deputy Secretary, Cindy Findley started the call assuring everyone both the Moderna and Pfizer Vaccines are safe and effective. Findley saying: “Both of the vaccines have completed their clinical trials. The pharmaceutical companies have all worked together to produce these vaccines, so no steps were skipped so they are very safe.”
One of the most heavily asked questions was what phase of vaccination are Counties in? Plus, why are areas differing from vaccinating people in 1A and some in phase 1B. Findley added: “I think the bigger picture is we do want everyone to be vaccinated. If there are areas where they feel like they have exhausted 1A. We have asked hospitals to expand because 1A has grown since last week. We are now at 65 and older which is a huge area. And that is in fairness, just changed last week so that transition would certainty be something all of our counties should be taking into consideration as they are vaccinating.”
PEMA director, Randy Padfield echoed feelings of frustration and confusion. But assured people this is only the beginning of the vaccination process and patience is needed. Padfield adding: “It’s frustrating. I understand representatives and senators are getting phone calls, we are as well. And this is anticipated because obviously we are in a high demand low resource phase now where we just don’t have enough vaccines available. It’s going to get incrementally better as more vaccines become available.”