Pennsylvania Vaccination Timeline

Pennsylvania Vaccination Timeline

Jack Qualteria, Staff Writer

Covid-19 has infected over 23 million people in the United States, and in Pennsylvania, the state with the eighth largest number of cases, the first phases of vaccinations began on December 14th. 

Across America Covid-19 shut down restaurants and businesses alike, in an attempt to slow the spread of CoronaVirus. In 2020, an estimated 97,966 small businesses shut down permanently due to the effects of Covid-19 and the restrictions put on their business.  This left everyone wondering if there will be a vaccine and if it would be safe to use.

When the vaccine had first come out to the public, many people were worried that it would not be safe to use and that the side effects were unknown because of the vaccine’s youth.  Although the majority of the Pennsylvania population has not received the vaccine, enough people have been vaccinated to know that there are no major side effects. In terms of side effects, 50% of people have reported headaches, fevers, and muscle soreness, days after they got the vaccine.

Currently in Pennsylvania, the first stage of vaccine distribution is underway. Phase 1A includes residents that are over 65, essential healthcare workers, and those that have medical conditions that put them at high risk from ages 14-64. 

In an interview with Pennsylvania native and long time resident, Arlene Lang, she explained how she was happy to receive the vaccine. Arlene, at 82 years old, is among the population of Pennsylvanians that fall into phase 1a. Arlene said, “The vaccine was easy and quic.k” She only waited a short period of time approximately 45 minutes to get vaccinated. After the vaccine, a patient waits in the waiting room for 15 minutes in order to make sure they have no immediate reactions. Arlene goes back for the second dose in about one month and says, “I am excited to be one step closer to visiting my grandkids.”

Pennsylvania, although not done with phase 1a, is starting to trickle down into phase 1b by giving vaccinations out to some first responders and to some essential workers not related to health care. As more of the elder people and healthcare workers get vaccinated, covid-19 cases should start to slow down and strict restrictions on businesses and schools will start to get lifted, most likely in phases as we’ve seen in the past.

Phase 1c includes the rest of the essential workers not listed in phase 1b which include but are not limited to, grocery store employees, construction workers, food service workers,and bank tellers. This is the phase where the most citizens in Pennsylvania would get vaccinated if they choose too.  Pennsylvania government officials believe that phase 1c can be reached by the summertime and the people that choose to get the vaccine will get it throughout the summer months. This is not a good sign for young adults like college and highschool students hopeful for a normal last few months of school.

In phase 2, the rest of the Pennsylvania residents who were not eligible for the vaccine in phase 1 will be eligible to receive it. clearly states that all individuals sixteen and above will be able to receive the vaccine in phase 2. After phase 2 occurs, which is estimated for the end of the summer months and beginning of the fall months, is when highschoolers and college students would start to see restrictions on schooling and athletics start to be lifted.

For the people that are skeptical of the vaccine, Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, who has become very popular for different reasons over the past year, asks you to make sure you research the facts before jumping to conclusions. Almost all professional doctors, including Dr. Fauci, approve of the new vaccines and are taking them. In a white house debriefing press conference, Joe Biden’s team claims that they “have to start from scratch” with a vaccine distribution plan, and claim to have not acquired much information on plans from the Trump administration. Dr. Fauci said during the debriefing that they are not starting from scratch because vaccines are already being given out and vaccinations are underway. 

Joe Biden campaigned very heavily on the fact that his first main focus as president would be to slow the spread of coronavirus and get as many people vaccinated as possible. Although things have not sped up just yet, Biden’s main plan for his first 100 days in office is to do everything in his control to speed up the process and get America fully on track to erasing the worry of coronavirus in citizens’ everyday lives.