Montco starved for COVID-19 vaccines but making progress, says official

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Montgomery County is not getting enough vaccine supply from the state, but they’re still making good progress in distribution efforts, says Commissioner Dr. Val Arkoosh.

For the county's population, and the number of licensed long-term care facilities, Arkoosh says they should be getting more vaccines from the state.

"We have never felt like we were getting enough vaccines for our population of 830,000 people. Not all of them are eligible because some of them are children. I’ve been raising this issue for weeks. There is a scheduled meeting with the Department of Health with the four counties," Arkoosh said.

"On the surface of it, it appears that we aren't getting nearly as much vaccine as we should be. In Montgomery County’s case, we have the second-highest number of licensed long-term care facilities in the state. Right there alone, we should be getting a lot more vaccines than we are, coming into this county."

She says they’re hoping to get answers from state health officials in an upcoming meeting about exactly how vaccines are being allocated.

Nearly 20% of eligible people in Montgomery County — 16 and over — have been vaccinated, which she calls good progress.

Dr. Richard Loraine, medical director of the Montgomery County Health Department, says they expect the vaccine supply to increase in the coming weeks. They are planning to open more mass vaccination sites when that happens.

"The supply of vaccine should increase. Putting it all together, this is a guesstimate, I'm hopeful that we will complete the 1a category in roughly two months, eight weeks," Loraine said.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of the story said nearly 20% of Montgomery County registrants had been vaccinated. It is nearly 20% of eligible people in the county.