Home Bensalem Times Bucks County opens vaccine clinics, COVID infections continue to decline

Bucks County opens vaccine clinics, COVID infections continue to decline

Doses are offered at the three Bucks County Community College campuses Tuesday-Saturday

Bucks County’s three public COVID-19 vaccination clinics opened last week, administering 1,737 doses, despite two days of weather-related postponements.

The vaccine doses given at the Bucks County Community College campuses were among 15,126 administered countywide last week. Through Saturday, 84,354 doses had been given in Bucks, with 37,384 people receiving first-round shots and 23,485 others fully vaccinated.

The three new clinics are offered by the county Tuesdays through Saturdays through a contract with AMI Expeditionary Healthcare. An additional, appointment-only county clinic at Woods Services for healthcare and EMS workers closed Friday, having administered 9,936 doses.

Limited vaccine supply from the state continues to slow the process.

The community college sites only have enough doses to schedule 200 vaccinations per day at each location, or 3,000 per week. If vaccines were more plentiful, the capacity at each site would be 500 per day, or 7,500 per week. Three additional sites are available, making it possible for the county to give up to 15,000 shots per week with sufficient supplies.

The community college clinics administered 1,176 doses of vaccine on Tuesday and Wednesday. Snow and hazardous road conditions forced postponement of Thursday and Friday clinics, which were rescheduled for Sunday and Monday. Another 561 people received vaccines on Saturday.

The county has sufficient vaccines to operate the clinics at similar daily levels this week and next. After receiving no vaccine from the state last week, the Bucks County Health Department yesterday received a shipment of 2,300 Pfizer doses for use at next week’s clinic.

Bucks is currently scheduling people in the 1A category who pre-registered for vaccinations on or before Jan. 15 on the county’s Coronavirus Vaccine Information page. About 154,000 people in 1A have pre-registered there to date.

While vaccine shortages have severely limited the work of clinics across Pennsylvania, the spread of COVID-19 continues to decrease in Bucks County. State figures showed 1,010 new positive cases in the county from Feb. 14-20, a 32 percent decrease from the previous week.

The seven-day average stood at 146 cases per day, the lowest since Nov. 9. The test positivity rate decreased to 8.2 percent from 9.6 percent the week before.

“We continue to see cases dropping and vaccination numbers going up. It’s a winning trend for long-term control of the outbreak,” said Dr. David Damsker, director of the county health department. “Even if the vaccine supply isn’t as good as we want it to be, every person that is immunized brings us closer to our goals.”

Through Saturday, Bucks County had recorded 43,996 COVID cases during the pandemic, along with 1,111 deaths. Twenty-six COVID deaths were reported last week in Bucks, for a total of 54 in February.

Hospitalizations remain largely unchanged, with 90 COVID patients in Bucks County hospitals, 20 of them in intensive care, and 15 of those on ventilators. Twenty-seven percent of the county’s adult ICU beds are available, along with 26 percent of adult medical surgical beds.

Click here for more information on COVID-19 in Bucks County.

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