UPMC is Ready to Vaccinate Next Priority Groups

By: Sarah Katz

The Pennsylvania Department of Health recently released a new COVID-19 vaccination timeline that makes all adults eligible by April 19. The state will be distributing more doses in the coming weeks, and UPMC is prepared to vaccinate all adults throughout the communities it serves.

Dr. Donald Yealy

“We fully expected the commonwealth to increase the number of people eligible to receive the vaccine,” said Dr. Donald Yealy, UPMC’s chief medical officer and chair of emergency medicine. “We want everyone who wants a vaccine to get one as quickly and as easily as possible.”

Pennsylvania’s Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam promised that providers throughout the state will receive a predictable and increased amount of vaccine in the coming weeks. This information allows health care workers to plan and schedule clinics accordingly.

“The commonwealth is giving us both notice of deliveries and shipping more vaccine to us recently,” Yealy said. “We’ll schedule as far forward as we can, based on these notices. We want everyone to have the comfort of knowing when you arrive to get vaccinated, we’ll have that vaccine here for you.”

UPMC continues to vaccinate those in phase 1A who registered to receive the vaccine. The interest in vaccination remains high and UPMC will hold more vaccination clinics to meet the need.

“We’ll continue our approach, which uses multiple platforms of different sizes to get our communities vaccinated,” Yealy said. “We’ve had over 2,000 people get vaccinated at PPG Paints Arena, and we have many smaller clinics focused on underserved communities. We need both strategies to vaccinate as many people as possible without multiplying inequities.”

Yealy urged the public to be patient when scheduling their vaccine and to remember that the pandemic isn’t over yet. Masking, social distancing and handwashing remain critical over the next few months as more people get vaccinated.

“We need to remain vigilant,” Yealy said. “I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s long and we’re not there yet.”

The public can register to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at Vaccine.UPMC.com.