Pa. gets over $115M for COVID-19 vaccine rollout

By: Ron Southwick

Pennsylvania is receiving more than $115 million in federal aid to expand the COVID-19 vaccine rollout across the commonwealth.

President Joe Biden and Congress approved the money as part of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that also delivered stimulus checks to millions of Americans.

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Pa. to distribute 7.9M lbs. of emergency food to food banks

By: John L. Micek

Food banks across Pennsylvania saw an explosion in their use in 2020 as the pandemic shuttered the economy and millions were put out of work. A year later, those same institutions, which already have helped millions, are still feeling the stress from that increased demand.

That’s why the state Department of Agriculture says it’s purchased an additional 7.9 million pounds of emergency food from the federal government. The food, valued at $12.9 million, will be delivered between June and December of this year, the agency said in a statement.

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Allegheny County’s new vaccine registration system opens

By: Teghan Simonton

The Allegheny County Health Department’s new vaccine registration system, designed to make registering for an appointment easier, is officially open to the public.

The department announced the new system was on the way last week and began a “soft launch” earlier this week. Individuals seeking a vaccine appointment through the county site can now register online at vax4.alleghenycounty.us.

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Pennsylvania to make all adults vaccine eligible by April 19

By: Mark Scolforo and Michael Rubinkam

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Every adult in Pennsylvania will qualify for a COVID-19 vaccine starting April 19, and emergency responders, grocery workers and people in other high-risk groups are able to schedule their shots immediately, Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration announced Wednesday in a dramatic expansion of the statewide rollout.

Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam said the new timeline is possible because Pennsylvania’s vaccine supply is growing and getting more predictable, and providers across the state report they are ready for a fresh influx of people seeking protection against the coronavirus.

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Gov. Wolf Announces Nearly $5 Billion in Federal COVID-19 Relief for Pre-K-12 Schools

By: Press Release

Governor Tom Wolf today announced that Pennsylvania is expected to receive $4.9 billion in federal relief funds to help Pre-K to 12 schools return students to classroom learning and equitably expand opportunity for students who need it most.

The funding, and the state’s nearly complete special initiative to provide teachers, school staff and contractors the opportunity to get the voluntary, single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, supports the governor’s goal to help more schools to reopen and for additional students and teachers to safety return to the classroom.

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Wolf administration refuses to release details of wasted COVID-19 vaccine doses

By: Ese Olumhense

HARRISBURG — The Wolf administration is refusing to disclose details of wasted coronavirus vaccine doses, including how many have been discarded by each provider, citing a decades-old law that it has frequently used to shield the public from scrutinizing its pandemic response.

The state Department of Health recently denied a public records request by Spotlight PA seeking documentation of vaccine doses that providers did not administer because of expiration, damage, or other factors. The request did not seek any patient information.

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Pa. says it’s starting to excel at COVID-19 vaccine distribution

By: David Wenner

Pennsylvania officials on Thursday said during the past week the state has vaccinated more residents per 100,000 than all but one other state.

“That is proof the pace of vaccination is accelerating here,” said Alison Beam, the acting secretary of health.

Officials further said Pennsylvania stacks up especially well when compared with the other states that have the largest populations of people 65 and older.

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State Senate panel approves bill changing bridge tolling process

By: Robert Swift

HARRISBURG — A Senate committee on Wednesday approved a newly introduced bill to require legislative approval for the state Transportation Department’s plans to toll major bridges.

The Transportation Committee voted 9-4 on a party line vote (Republicans in support, Democrats opposing) to approve Senate Bill 382 requiring legislative approval of projects involving a user fee under the Public-Private Transportation Partnership Program (P3).

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Wolf pessimistic about his stimulus spending hopes for Pa.

By: Katie Meyer

Ask us about COVID-19: What questions do you have about the coronavirus and vaccines?

Gov. Tom Wolf says there’s a lot he’d like to do with the billions of federal dollars set to flow into Pennsylvania now that President Joe Biden has signed the massive stimulus plan.

But in a virtual appearance Thursday at a conference for the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, the governor, who has less than two years left in his term, said he doesn’t have much hope he’ll be able to do any of it.

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Pa. health official: Focus should be on covid vaccinations, not allocations

By: Megan Guza

The state Department of Health continues to try and meet the demand for covid-19 vaccines, particularly first doses, an ongoing struggle when requests from providers outnumber the state’s total allocation by nearly 200,000, a health official said Wednesday.

The federal government sent 254,150 dedicated first-shot doses to Pennsylvania’s health department this week, said Barry Ciccocioppo, the department’s covid-19 response spokesman. Providers across the state requested 425,000 first doses.

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