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Frustration mounts over vaccine rollout in Pa.


A daily newsletter by Spotlight PA
Your Postmaster: Sarah Anne Hughes
January 26, 2021
Vaccine woes, Perry responds, virtual address, racism allegations, excessive force, a Gritty gift, and secluded songs. Hello, Tuesday. 

As Pennsylvania's COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue, a number of problems are emerging.

A week after the state expanded eligibility to people 65 and older, as well as to younger people with pre-existing conditions, Allegheny County officials are without additional doses and are being forced to turn people away.

“It’s almost unfair to patients, to people in the state, to say ‘millions of you are now [eligible]’ without any plan in place to make it happen,” a doctor told TribLIVE.

Seniors are especially frustrated, as the state's plan leans on residents to use an online map to locate and contact providers, the Post-Gazette reports. We have a version of the map, and are creating an easier lookup tool.

THE CONTEXT: As of Monday, just 4% of the state's population had received at least one dose. So why are some states doing better at getting shots into arms than Pennsylvania?

Others "have done pretty well managing the resulting public confusion and frustration over who should get shots and how to do so," The Inquirer reports. Pennsylvania is also still working on setting up a statewide vaccine registration system, something already in place in states including New Jersey

Spotlight PA wants to hear from pharmacists, health-care workers, and residents about their experiences with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Send us an email at tips@spotlightpa.org.


"They call his generation the greatest generation, and I think it was."

—Diane Sica on the death of her uncle Walter Pasiak, the last known Pearl Harbor survivor living in Lackawanna County
POST IT: Dreaming of Meadow Run in Ohiopyle State Park. Thanks for another one, @wvubush!  Send us your hidden gems use the hashtag #PAGems, or tag us on Instagram at @spotlightpennsylvania.
RELATIONSHIP OVER: Philadelphia has ended a relationship with the group behind the city's largest vaccination site after officials learned it had gone from nonprofit to for-profit, WHYY reports. One former volunteer told the news outlet executives at Philly Fighting COVID "were bragging about how rich they were going to get.”

PERRY RESPONDS: U.S. Rep. Scott Perry confirmed he introduced Donald Trump to a Justice Department official who, the New York Times reported, was sympathetic to the former president's false claims of election fraud. In a statement, Perry denied wrongdoing and said the conversations "were a reiteration of the many concerns about the integrity of our elections," PennLive reports.
VIRTUAL ADDRESS: Gov. Tom Wolf will not deliver his annual budget address to the legislature in-person this year because of COVID-19, the Capital-Star reports. Instead, his office will provide a pre-recorded video message to lawmakers.

NEWSROOM RACISM: A top CBS television executive made racist comments about Philadelphia news anchor Ukee Washington, the station's former general manager told the LA Times. Other employees at the city's station said they were similarly subjected to racism and misogyny. 
EXCESSIVE FORCE SUIT: A Lancaster city couple is suing a pair of officers, alleging excessive force and bogus drug charges, LancasterOnline reports. One of the officers named in the suit was previously sued by a Virginia man who was jailed for 10 months over charges the DA later said shouldn't have been brought. The other officer was also named in a previous excessive force suit.
SOMETHING SPECIAL: Wondering what to get that special person in your life for Valentine's Day? How about a personalized message from Gritty for the price of $500? All funds raised benefit a youth hockey nonprofit.

SIGN ME UP: A website called Bonusfinder.com wants to pay someone to do what I do every weekend: watch Netflix and eat pizza. The only downside? You have to judge the shows you watch on several criteria including (very long sigh) "Netflix and Chill suitability."

'REPRESENTATION MATTERS': Stefan Hawkins has expanded his book club for Black men in Harrisburg into a full-fledged coffee shop. "I wanted a space where kids could come and see books that look like them," Hawkins said. 

SECLUDED SONG: Last Saturday was the anniversary of the death of the great Pennsylvania composer Samuel Barber. Sure, you could listen to "Adagio for Strings" — by far his most famous work — but I would encourage everyone to sample the delightful, challenging Hermit Songs cycle as performed by Leontyne Price.

BLACK FOREST ACHE: The long, dark days of winter have me longing for a spring escape into nature. This description of the 43-mile Black Forest Trail, in north-central Pennsylvania, makes it sound like an appealing hike — minus the apparently menacing porcupines. 
Unscramble and send your answer to scrambler@spotlightpa.org. We'll shout out winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA swag.

Yesterday's answer: Raspberry

Congrats to our daily winners: John C., Susan D., Jill G., Irene R., Kim C., Steve D., David I., Patricia M., Craig W., Joel S., Theodore W., Becky C., Brandie K., Bruce B., Jarrod B., Bob R., Lance L., Nichole H., Kathleen C., Jennifer S., Patricia R., Chris M., Bill C., Dianne K., George S., Bruce B., Linda E., Mary Ellen T., Ron P., Jill A-S., Neal W., Dan S., Thomas B., Suzanne S., Tish M., Carol D., David W., Judith B., Bruce F., and John H. 
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