UPMC Expert on Reaching 70% of Vaccinations, ‘We’ll Get There’

UPMC Doc Hopeful Vaccinations Will Reach 70% ‘Eventually’

WILLIAMSPORT – ‘We’ll get there,’ says a Clinical Director of Infection Prevention and Control at UPMC on when we may reach 70% of Pennsylvania adults being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Heather Stafford says there are pockets of the state close to that mark already, but the biggest challenge is getting those in rural counties vaccinated, “We’re getting out there in the community and thinking outside the box.”

“We’ve reached the people that want it and will seek it out, now we have to seek the people out to try to guide them toward getting this vaccine. I don’t really know the answer when we’ll get there but I believe we’ll get there eventually.”

When asked about continued issues of vaccine hesitancy or those refusing to get vaccinated, Stafford says we still can’t be judgmental, “We should never say things that create shame or make them feel adversarial, and instead, showing them the science in trying to alleviate their concerns. Several of the myths that I hear is that it was rushed to development or it will affect a woman’s fertility. Well none of that is proven, and there are lots of articles that dispel those myths.”

Meantime, Stafford says she still recommends masking and social distancing in schools, and everyone else should still be mindful of their surroundings when deciding to still take precautions. Stafford says there’s lots more vaccine information at vaccine.upmc.com. Hear more from her on the WKOK Podcast Page.


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