LANGHORNE >> The Bucks County Department of Health on January 12 began vaccinating emergency medical personnel and other healthcare workers against COVID-19 at an appointment-only clinic in Langhorne as part of Phase 1A inoculation efforts.
Employees administered 422 doses of the vaccine during the clinic’s first day of operation, a pace staff expects it can surpass in the coming days. Space for the clinic has been provided by Woods Services, where vaccinations are set to continue for at least the next three weeks.
The county-run clinic is accessible by appointment only, and is intended exclusively for healthcare workers who were sent an invitation either from the county Health Department or from their employers.
“These vaccinations mark the start of the final stages in the battle against COVID,” said county Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker. “Once enough people are vaccinated, we expect to see major changes in the disease morbidity and mortality. Please exercise patience, and over the next couple of months, we hope to help as many people in Bucks County as possible.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Health is directing the vaccination process statewide.
All of Pennsylvania is currently in the state’s “1A phase” of coronavirus vaccinations, meaning inoculation efforts are focused on healthcare workers, emergency medical services crews and long-term care facility residents and staff.
Vaccinations have been underway in hospitals in Bucks County for several weeks, with many recipients now receiving their second dose. The county is focused at this time on reaching those people eligible under 1A to receive the vaccine who have been unable to get it from their local hospital.
A total of 10,936 partial vaccinations have been administered in Bucks, the fourth-highest total in the Pennsylvania. In addition, 1,630 full vaccinations have been administered, the third-highest county total in the state.
The county Department of Health intends to expand its vaccine distribution in the coming weeks, including to other first responders. The next phase, 1B, is expected to begin sometime in February.
More information about vaccinations in Bucks, including breakdowns of eligibility under upcoming vaccination phases, is available on the county's vaccine information portal.
Tuesday’s shots come as the county’s reported total of COVID-19 infections reached 34,847. The state on Monday, Jan. 11 reported 409 new infections in Bucks County.
The seven-day average is 392 cases per day. Eighteen deaths have been reported in January for a pandemic total of 945. County hospitals have 182 COVID patients, 27 of them on ventilators. Twenty-nine percent of the county's adult ICU beds and 29 percent of its adult medical surgical beds remain available.
This week also marked the start of the county’s free COVID-19 testing program. Anyone who wishes to receive a test for coronavirus may do so at any of three locations provided by Bucks County Community College in Perkasie, Newtown and Bristol.
COVID tests at these sites are available without a doctor’s prescription. Vaccinations are not being performed at these testing sites.
The county commissioners continue to urge the public to download the free COVID Alert PA app, which uses Bluetooth technology to let a person know that they have been exposed to COVID-19 without compromising the identity or location of either the person using the app, or of the person to whom they may have been exposed.
To see an interactive map showing Bucks County cases reported in the past 30 days, please click here.
Statistics, charts, links to state health department data and other coronavirus-related information can be found on the county’s data portal: https://covid19-bucksgis.hub.arcgis.com.