Allegheny County sees uptick in vaccinations, targets outreach to lagging communities

by PublicSource

PublicSource has been tracking COVID-19’s spread on a daily basis since March 2020. More than a year later, in an effort to direct our resources into enterprise reporting on the pandemic and other important issues, we will cover the Allegheny County Health Department’s weekly briefing on Wednesdays and update the numbers on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. We may adjust as the prevalence of the coronavirus ebbs and flows. If you have questions or comments, please email PublicSource’s managing editor halle@publicsource.org.

Allegheny County saw a slight increase in vaccinations in the past two weeks, while cases and hospitalizations continued to rise, Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen said in a Wednesday briefing.

More than 6,000 county residents per week received the vaccine in the past two weeks, Bogen said. She expressed optimism that the uptick in vaccinations would continue following the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to grant full approval to the two-dose Pfizer vaccine on Aug. 23.

Cases and hospitalizations are still rising, with the county recording an average of 225 new cases each day.

“The number of cases of COVID-19 are increasing – more slowly than late July and early August, but certainly increasing,” Bogen said. She also noted that deaths in the county have increased amid the spread of the Delta variant.

State data shows 22 people in the county have died from COVID-19 in the past two weeks.

The county also released a breakdown of vaccine uptake in Allegheny County by ZIP code and race, providing the most comprehensive view yet of where vaccination efforts are lagging in and around Pittsburgh.

The report identifies Braddock as having the lowest vaccination rate of any ZIP code in the county, with 42% of 7,721 residents vaccinated. ZIP codes for Duquesne, Manchester, the Central Business District and Mckeesport had the next lowest rates, all of them having less than 44% of their populations vaccinated.

“Based on these ZIP codes, we will work with community and vaccine partners to ensure that vaccines are easily accessible and available,” Bogen said.

Allegheny County Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen (courtesy of Allegheny County)

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Allegheny County sees uptick in vaccinations, targets outreach to lagging communities

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