St. Clair Hospital hasn’t been getting first-dose allocations for three weeks
St. Clair Hospital hasn’t gotten any first doses of the Pfizer Inc. vaccine for the past three weeks, which has led to the hospital not being able to provide thousands of vaccines it and the community had been expecting.
The hospital had to reschedule an undisclosed number of first-dose appointments and said thousands still need to be scheduled for their first doses. This doesn’t impact the second doses for people who have already received the first doses. Those supplies are continuing.
The hospital declined an interview request but said in a statement Wednesday that it had talked to state officials about the situation.
“Foremost among those concerns is that, without St. Clair’s participation in the distribution process, the most vulnerable populations in the South Hills will be disadvantaged in securing access to the vaccine,” St. Clair said in a statement. “These populations include the very elderly, those living in senior housing and certain other high-risk individuals.”
State Rep. Dan Miller, D-Mt. Lebanon, said St. Clair’s efforts around the vaccine distribution have been critical to the South Hills. He said the hospital has been not only providing vaccines via clinics, but also reaching out to vulnerable members of the community, including senior housing, who aren’t able to go to a mass-vaccination site.
“You cannot dispute they have been working hard at getting this vaccine out,” Miller said.
Miller said he reached out to the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Wolf administration about the reasons. He said he was told it wasn’t because St. Clair wasn’t doing enough vaccinations, that the hospital system is doing everything it’s supposed to be doing. Miller said he urged the state to resume providing first doses to St. Clair. He had been told there were at least 5,000 people who were waiting in St. Clair’s vaccination system.
“We’re looking forward to seeing hopefully a different result on the allocation decision next week,” Miller said.
The hospital said it was sorry about the impact on the community in a Facebook post, and promised to reschedule appointments as soon as it got vaccine.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
St. Clair Hospital is the seventh-largest health system in the Pittsburgh region, according to the 2021 Pittsburgh Business Times Book of Lists.
By – Paul J. Gough – Reporter, Pittsburgh Business times