Gov. Wolf Tours Washington County COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic to Discuss Progress, Rural Outreach and Hesitancy

Continuing to visit COVID-19 vaccine clinics around the state, Governor Tom Wolf toured a clinic at the Washington Crown Center in Washington County today. The clinic is one of three operated by the Washington Health System (WHS) serving rural communities in southwestern Pennsylvania.

“The health care heroes here at Washington Health System and across the commonwealth are the reason why Pennsylvania’s vaccine rollout is going so well,” said Gov. Wolf. “It is important to remember the COVID-19 vaccine is free for everyone. You don’t need insurance to get it, and you won’t be asked to pay anything out of pocket for it. The vaccines will protect not just you, but also the people around you from this terrible disease.”

The governor was joined by COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force Member Rep. Tim O’Neal and Washington Health System CEO and president Brook Ward.

“I’m pleased to see the progress the COVID-19 Vaccine Joint Task Force has made in getting shots into Pennsylvanian’s arms,” said Rep. O’Neal. “At this point, anyone who wants a vaccine can get one. This is a win.”

The WHS administered its first COVID-19 vaccine dose on Dec. 22, 2020 and opened the regional public clinic in February. It has administered more than 42,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and continues to collaborate with the Washington-Greene County Coalition and other local partnerships in southwestern Pennsylvania to rapidly respond to the virus and make vaccination sites available.

“Community commitment is one of Washington Health System’s core values,” said WHS President and CEO Brook Ward. “We are proud to lead the local vaccination efforts with three vaccine clinics that have administered more than 47,000 vaccines, which is more than half of the vaccines administered in Washington and Greene Counties. If you have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine, I encourage you to get vaccinated to protect yourself and to protect those around you.

Pennsylvania has administered more than 8 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and continues to accelerate vaccination efforts. The governor reminded Pennsylvanians the vaccine is available, free and safe. To address vaccine hesitancy, the Wolf Administration is encouraging people to get the vaccine through the use of website information, social media posts, press conferences, and a soon-to-launch statewide media campaign to learn why getting vaccinated is the right thing to do.

In addition to large clinics, Pennsylvanians can get vaccinated at smaller clinics, many of which increasingly offer “walk-in” access, as well as through targeted outreach to harder-to-reach people, such as those who cannot leave home and seniors in high-rise settings.

“Vaccines have made more of us safer than we were last summer, but we need every adult to get vaccinated so that we can continue to reduce the risks for people who can’t get vaccinated yet, such as our kids and grandkids,” said Gov. Wolf. “Getting the vaccine will not only protect you, but it will also protect your family and your community, and it will help our commonwealth recover from this pandemic a little bit faster.”

The governor will tour a large vaccine clinic in Erie County later today.

The state Department of Health has a map of vaccine providers.