These Pa. legislative districts have the highest, lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates

‘Our unified goal should be to strive to protect the health and safety of all residents,’ Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, wrote in a Sept. 27 letter to House and Senate leadership

By: - October 7, 2021 7:08 am

COVID-19 vaccine is stored at -80 degrees celsius in the pharmacy at Roseland Community Hospital on December 18, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. The hospital began distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to its workers yesterday. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Legislative Republicans asked for more concise COVID-19 data. The Wolf administration answered with a new dashboard.

The Department of Health launched an online database at the end of September that tracks coronavirus vaccination rates by state legislative districts and U.S. Congressional districts. Its release comes after a request from the Republican-controlled Legislature for data on who is most affected by COVID-19.

The Health Department also issues a daily update with case information, coronavirus-related deaths, nursing home data, and vaccination rates. The state also tracks COVID-19 cases in school-aged children and provides a weekly update for case counts in two age groups: 0-4 and 5-18.

“Our unified goal should be to strive to protect the health and safety of all residents,” Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, wrote in a Sept. 27 letter to House and Senate leadership. “It is our hope that this information will help inform members of the General Assembly, stakeholders, and community members to join us in encouraging Pennsylvanians to get vaccinated.”

As of Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranks Pennsylvania as fifth in the United States for total doses administered. State schools are still required to comply with and enforce a universal mask mandate, which applies to everyone over the age of 2, regardless of their vaccination status, indoors at K-12 public schools and early childhood education facilities.

The dashboard will be updated monthly and is limited to data reported to the Pennsylvania Statewide Immunization Information System. It does not include residents who received a COVID-19 vaccine from a clinic in Philadelphia County, a federal facility — a veterans hospital or federal prison — or another state. Because Philadelphia County is a separate CDC-designated vaccine jurisdiction, districts located in the county, even partially, are excluded.

Here’s a breakdown:

Senate districts with the highest vaccination rates

Senate districts with the lowest vaccination rates

  • District 30 (Sen. Judy Ward, R-Blair): 36 percent
  • District 23 (Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Lycoming): 38 percent
  • District 25 (Sen. Cris Dush, R-Jefferson): 38.4 percent
  • District 35 (Sen. Wayne Langerholc, R-Clearfield) 39.9 percent
  • District 32 (Sen. Pat Stefano, R-Fayette): 40.4 percent

House districts with the highest vaccination rates

House districts with the lowest vaccination rates

 

As of Wednesday, the Health Department reported 42,698 new vaccinations, bringing the statewide total of fully vaccinated people to more than 6 million. According to state data, more than 25,700 people are receiving vaccinations per day.

Wolf also asked the General Assembly to create a “frequently updated dashboard” to track efforts to encourage vaccinations. Jason Thompson, a spokesperson for Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Centre, called the governor’s request “puzzling” and added that lawmakers aren’t sure what the “tangible public health benefit” would be.

“If it is just something that would be used for political purposes, then the answer is: ‘Thanks, but no thanks,’” Thompson told the Capital-Star.

He added: “Senate Republicans have led the way in making vaccine information available to the public and ensuring anyone who wants the vaccine can get it. We have done so both through legislation and public outreach, including hosting numerous telephone town halls specifically dedicated to the vaccine.”

Corman’s district has a 47 percent vaccination rate. In total, Corman held four town halls dedicated to the coronavirus and vaccine this year, including one on Monday where constituents could ask medical experts questions about booster shots.

Virtual town halls have reached more than 350,000 Pennsylvanians, Thompson said.

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Marley Parish
Marley Parish

A Pennsylvania native, Marley Parish covers the Senate for the Capital-Star. She previously reported on government, education and community issues for the Centre Daily Times and has a background in writing, editing and design. A graduate of Allegheny College, Marley served as editor of the campus newspaper, where she also covered everything from student government to college sports.

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