The Tioga County COVID-19 Task Force is partnering with the Laurel Health Centers, Guthrie and UPMC to ensure the COVID-19 vaccine is available to Tioga County residents as soon as possible.
“The Task Force has collaborated with our local health systems throughout our pandemic response, and we are partnering closer than ever to create one cohesive unit for vaccine administration, as this allows us to reach the most people in the shortest amount of time,” said James A. Nobles, president and CEO of Laurel Health and the chair of the Task Force.
The PA-Department of Health has developed a multi-phased plan with vaccine deployment divided into Phase 1A, 1B, 1C and Phase 2. For more information on the state’s vaccination plan and each specific phase, visit www.health.pa.gov.
“There are a lot of people who are interested in getting vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Janie Hilfiger, president, UPMC Cole and UPMC Wellsboro. “We’re encouraged by their eagerness and we’re ready to help support the efforts in the county to ensure our community members who want a shot, can get one.”
“We look forward to working with our local partners to deliver vaccines to as many residents of Tioga County as we can, as quickly as we can, once given the go ahead from the PA Department of Health” said David Pfisterer, the chair of primary care for the Guthrie Clinic.
The vaccine is currently in Phase 1A of the rollout plan. According to Department of Health data, 631 county residents have received a partial dose, 22 the full dose. According to task force records, 802 people have received a partial dose, 202 a full dose as of Tuesday afternoon.
As the county moves to the next phase of distribution, patients should look for communication from their healthcare provider about their eligibility.
While residents want to know when and where to get the vaccine, distribution is limited by the state’s supply chain. As additional doses are received, vaccine clinics will be scheduled.
“We are not holding back reserve doses, and I’m optimistic that we will be receiving shipments in the coming weeks,” Nobles said.
UPMC has established a process for non-UPMC healthcare providers to request and schedule a vaccination. Non-UPMC healthcare organizations should visit UPMC.com/HealthCareVaccine or call 833-299-4358.
“The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have gone through the same rigorous clinical trials as all other approved vaccines and were tested on thousands of volunteers to ensure they are safe and effective. The COVID-19 vaccines are an important tool in our toolkit to fight COVID-19 along with masking, handwashing, and social distancing,” said Nobles.
Residents can prepare by determining where they fall in the phased rollout according to the Department of Health website.
“Once the re-supply process is streamlined, vaccine deployment will start to move faster,” Nobles said.