West Virginia has received national attention for its vaccine rollout response, but is there anything our state can learn?
West Virginia health care leaders have some advice to share when it comes to getting people vaccinated.
"What really worked well about this is, if you have an issue or something doesn't happen or you need a particular group or someone got missed, you can literally get up and walk two desks down, address the situation and resolve it on the spot," said Marty Wright, CEO of West Virginia Health Care Association.
More than 20% of the state's population has received at least one shot, and West Virginia credits outreach efforts for its early success.
"Most recently, we've done a lot of homeless outreach and outreach to homebound individuals," said Dr. Sherri Young, Executive Director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. "We've also had a lot of success in our larger scale vaccination clinics."
In addition to effective communication with a statewide task force, health care experts in West Virginia point to vaccinating the most vulnerable populations first and community pharmacies as the keys to efficiency when it comes to getting out the vaccine.
While Pennsylvania slowly catches up, Berks County commissioners have expressed concerns over backlogs at their planned mass vaccination site and stressed the importance of an appointment system. It's something those in West Virginia second.
"Appointments are really key, and while people get frustrated with being on lists or waiting lists, there would be a bigger tragedy if people waiting in line or getting hurt or fighting to get in traffic," said Young.
Meanwhile, a mass vaccination site is being set up in Muhlenberg Township. State Sen. Judy Schwank cautions against comparisons but says there are still things the county and the state can learn.
"We have many more large urban areas than they necessarily do," she said. "But they've found a way, I believe, through using community pharmacies they've been able to really get their program ramped up and accommodating the needs of the population."
As for the planned site in Berks, its opening remains dependent on vaccine availability.