Bucks County stepped up its COVID-19 vaccine distribution pace considerably last week, administering more than 11,000 doses at its four mass vaccination sites.
Since Feb. 16, the county has given 31,066 doses of vaccine through its partnership with AMI Expeditionary Healthcare. More than one-third were administered last week alone.
The boost resulted largely from the newest Bucks County/AMI site at the Neshaminy Mall, which opened for its first full week. The mall site administered 4,883 first doses of vaccine last week, or 44 percent of the total for the four locations.
The other locations – Bucks County Community College’s three campuses in Bristol, Newtown and Perkasie – also increased their output. Two additional sites have been approved for use when the state’s allotment of vaccine increases enough to justify them.
Countywide, 64,999 people had been fully vaccinated through Saturday, along with 72,523 who had been partially vaccinated.
Bucks County’s allotment of vaccine from the state decreased last week, falling to 15,000 total doses from 20,660 the week before.
“Vaccination numbers are climbing steadily, though supply is coming a little slower than what was predicted,” said Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department. “Again, I encourage everyone to get whichever vaccine they can, as soon as they are eligible.”
Through last week, the county health department had received about 27 percent of the 154,820 doses sent to Bucks County providers by the state. The rest has gone to hospitals, pharmacies and other medical offices.
That total does not include doses sent through various federal partnerships to pharmacies throughout the state for distribution to the general public and to residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Nor does it include quantities of Johnson & Johnson vaccine sent directly to the Bucks County Intermediate Unit for inoculation of school employees.
State officials have indicated that the county’s allotment of vaccine is expected to increase this week. This week’s level is supposed to remain fairly consistent for the coming weeks, the state has said, and should help the county to schedule future vaccinations for residents eligible for the 1A phase of the vaccine rollout.
Gov. Tom Wolf earlier this month ordered that all 1A-eligible people be given an appointment for their first doses by no later than March 31. The order does not mandate when the vaccinations must be given, only that all 1A-eligible people be scheduled.
The county continues to schedule people in the 1A classification of the vaccine rollout. County officials expect to send scheduling emails by the end of this week to all remaining persons who pre-registered with the county as 1A, but who have not yet been scheduled for a vaccination.
More information is on the county’s Coronavirus Vaccine Information page.
The increase in vaccination numbers came as new COVID cases continued to increase for a second straight week.
The state reported 1,349 new infections in Bucks County from March 14-20, a 31 percent increase over the previous week. Statewide numbers are rising as well. The 4,213 cases posted on Friday for Pennsylvania was the state’s highest single-day total in six weeks.
The rate of deaths and hospitalizations remained virtually unchanged. Ten Bucks County COVID deaths were reported last week, the same as the week before, but lower than in previous weeks. The pandemic death total for Bucks stands at 1,165. Sixty-six COVID patients were in Bucks County hospitals through Saturday, 15 of them in intensive care and nine on ventilators.
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