The Lead

COVID-19 still a ‘serious’ situation, Pa. Health Secretary Klinepeter says

By: - February 2, 2022 5:51 pm

Acting state Health Secretary Keara Klinepeter speaks during a Department of Health press conference in Harrisburg on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. (Screenshot)

Speaking from Pittsburgh Wednesday, acting state Health Secretary Keara Klinepeter joined Allegheny County officials to provide an update on the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“This is still a serious public health situation,” Klinepeter said, citing state COVID-19 data. 

As of Monday, the daily average number of COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania was 11,405 with Tuesday case counts totaling more than 6,600 confirmed cases and more than 200 deaths.

“Right now, it is crucial for everyone ages five and older to get a primary vaccine series and for all eligible Pennsylvanians to get their booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine,” Klinepeter said Wednesday. 

Klinepeter commended college students in the PIttsburgh area for “doing the right thing” and limiting themselves and isolating to protect themselves and their loved ones. 

“I feel for the students who are self-limiting to protect themselves and their loved ones,” Klinepeter said, acknowledging that her college experience would have been much different.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald urged residents to continue getting vaccinated, noting that Moderna received full approval for its two-dose COVID-19 vaccine earlier this week. 

“We continue to see how effective vaccinations have been,” Fitzgerald said. 

His comments were echoed by Allegheny County Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen, who called Allegheny County’s 236 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in January were “vaccine-preventable deaths.”

“We know that the vaccines work and that they help protect against the most serious outcomes of COVID-19, including hospitalization and death,” Bogen said. “In Allegheny County, more than 70 percent of residents are vaccinated, but we continue to experience unfortunate deaths, especially among the unvaccinated. I urge everyone, everywhere, to get vaccinated, not only for yourself, but for children who are not yet eligible.  “We should all be doing that until they themselves can be vaccinated.” 

On Tuesday, federal regulators announced that they were considering Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in children age 5 and under. 

A decision is expected as soon as this month, Reuters reported this week. 


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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.