Signups opened Friday morning for qualifying individuals and businesses on the county’s Coronavirus Vaccine Information page.
Those who pre-register will receive a notification when they are able to schedule an appointment.
Bucks County, and all of Pennsylvania, remains for the moment in the 1A phase of vaccination, as directed by the state Department of Health. Under 1A, vaccination efforts are focused almost exclusively on medical workers and long-term care staff and residents.
State guidelines expand eligibility in Phase 1B to all adults over 75 as well as a much broader collection of essential workers including school staff, grocery store workers and public transit employees. For more information about who qualifies under the various phases, visit the county’s vaccine page.
The county expects to move into 1B sometime in February.
As part of its 1A efforts, the county Health Department this week administered 1,509 doses of coronavirus vaccine at its appointment-only clinic at Woods Services in Langhorne.
The Langhorne clinic is intended to serve only non-hospital affiliated healthcare workers and emergency medical personnel. Woods has supplied space for the clinic, which opened Tuesday, but has no role in administering the vaccine and should not be contacted for information about vaccines.
Questions about receiving the vaccine in Bucks County should be directed to the Bucks County Health Department by calling 215-345-3318 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Health updated Friday, 14,096 partial doses and 3,249 full doses of coronavirus vaccine have been administered to date in Bucks County. The bulk of vaccinations so far have been performed by hospitals, as well as pharmacies contracted to vaccinate staff and residents of long-term care facilities.
Providing a boost to vaccination planning across Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday approved a waiver allowing pharmacists licensed by the Department of State to administer COVID-19 vaccines without a doctor’s order once vaccines become available to the public.
But even as vaccination efforts ramp up, the coronavirus continues to spread.
Bucks County on Thursday reported 321 new infections as the county’s pandemic total reached 35,745 cases. With 35 deaths reported in January, the county’s total dead from COVID-19 now sits at 964, according to state data.
The seven-day average is 315 cases per day.
County hospitals have 151 COVID patients, 22 of them on ventilators. Twenty-one percent of the county's adult ICU beds remain available, along with 34 percent of its medical surgical beds.
Also confirmed this week was the infection of a Bucks County resident with the particularly contagious variant of COVID-19 first identified in the United Kingdom. The woman, who also has a residence in Philadelphia, tested positive last month after coming into contact with a person who recently had traveled from the UK, and is believed to no longer be infectious.
The case is the second instance in Pennsylvania in which SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 has been identified. The variant does not appear to be more dangerous than previously identified strains of the virus, but is more easily transmissible.
“We are not overly concerned about this development because all available evidence shows that the existing vaccines are effective against this variant,” said Bucks County Health Department Director Dr. David Damsker. “So long as that continues to be the case, we will treat this variant the same as our other cases.”
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.
Free COVID-19 testing is available through the end of January at three locations across Bucks provided by Bucks County Community College. After testing, results are typically available within 48 to 72 hours. Click here for more information.
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.