Delaware ‘eager’ to move to vaccination Phase 1b

By KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — While Delaware remains in Phase 1a of vaccine distribution, state health officials are eager to get to 1b.

Delaware is still giving vaccine shots to health care workers and long-term care residents and staff as part of Phase 1a of allocation. But health officials say they want to move on to Phase 1b sooner than later.

“And today we are announcing plans that we’re calling the sprint to vaccinate 1a,” said Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay.

The focus, Gov. John Carney said, “is to get the supply of vaccines we already received in the state to Delaware and in that 1a group to quickly move to 1b.”

Both Carney and Rattay say they are “eager” to get to 1B, as are first responders and residents who are 65 and older who will be getting their shots during that time.

But they say it’s important not to jump the gun either.

“We don’t want people to not get their second dose and I want to emphasize that,” said Rattay. “But we also, especially in the midst of the levels of infection we’re seeing right now, we want to get this vaccine into as many arms as quickly as we possibly can.”

There was recently a drive-thru event at a DMV in Delaware, where health officials say 650 eligible people got their vaccine shots in just a few hours. Officials say more events like this are coming.

“We’re really excited to announce six additional weekend drive-thru events at DMVs,” said Rattay. “The weekend aspect of this, going from 10 to 4, allows us to get more people through.”

Some of those events are this weekend and some are next weekend.

Officials hope to be in Phase 1b within the next two weeks.

“Just be a little bit patient,” Carney said to everyone getting their shots on Phase 1b. “We’re getting there.”

Dozens of pharmacies are also now on board with a federal program that gets vaccines to hospitals and long-term care facilities in the state.

So far, 27,000 vaccine shots have been administered.

If you can get one as part of Phase 1a and haven’t yet, officials ask you to email vaccineplanning@delaware.gov and get set up.