Pennsylvania COVID-19 vaccine supply seems to match demand, as more appointments go unfilled

COVID-19 vaccines.
COVID-19 vaccines. Photo credit peterschreiber.media/Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — It has become a lot easier to find a COVID-19 vaccine appointment than it was a few weeks ago, as supply seems to be finally catching up with demand.

Marc Ost from Eric’s Rx Shoppe in Horsham said they post their available appointments a couple days out. While those appointments are still getting filled, they are seeing demand slow down.

“It doesn’t fill as quickly as it did previously, but it has filled up. We haven’t had anything that has gone empty yet so far," said Ost.

It is not as easy as it was a few weeks ago to fill in any holes that come from no-shows, according to Ost.

“You call somebody, and last month people would run in to get a shot," he explained. "Now they say, ‘Oh, I already got vaccinated,’ which is good but it just becomes more difficult to find people that haven’t been vaccinated.”

Each week, providers put in their orders with the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Each provider is required to get out 80% of their allotment within seven days.

Ost said that’s getting a little tricky when they’re doing community clinics. One example of those includes efforts working with school districts to vaccinate students 16 and older.

“I think a lot of the high schools are hoping or expecting more kids for to get vaccinated, and they’re either finding a lot of kids have been vaccinated or that there’s some sense of hesitancy," Ost said.

“If we have a school that requests 1,000 doses and they only use 300-400, we know we’re going to have to scramble to find a few hundred more appointments.”

He said Eric’s Rx Shoppe has been able to do that through their in-store appointments, or through other clinics with their partners.

Governor Tom Wolf said Pennsylvania ranks 10th in the country for the percentage of the population with at least one shot. He said Pennsylvania is at 47%, above the national average of 42%.

But Wolf said they are starting to see more appointments in other parts of the state going unfilled.