(this story has been updated at the bottom)


Can you point to Montour County on a map?

Yeah, me neither. Apparently it’s between Bloomsburg and Williamsport, an 18,000 population area that has already received 45,000 COVID-19 vaccination doses.

That’s the big story on Action News, which did a study of how the vaccine is being distributed in our region, and it turns out that the counties bordering Philadelphia are getting hosed:

Data shows that those four counties received far fewer doses of the vaccine than many smaller counties across the commonwealth.

According to the latest state data analyzed by 6abc, per every 1,000 residents, Delaware County (564,554 residents) has received 134 doses, Bucks County (626,806 residents) received 168 doses, Chester County (519,560 residents) received 171 doses and Montgomery County (823,823 residents) received 221 doses.

By comparison, the state reports having sent almost 45,000 doses to Montour County over the last three months. The county’s population is only 18,259 people.

Channel 6 posted an interactive map ranking the counties, and the highest performing jawn in our region is Montco, which is 25th in Pennsylvania. Delco is 46th, Chesco is 34th, and Bucks is 35th. Most of the highest-performing counties in the Commonwealth are rural, away from the major population centers, though the Lehigh Valley is going a good job. Philly isn’t included because the city is doing its own vaccine distribution directly with the feds.

So what gives?

Dunno, though the vaccine is disproportionately going to less-populated areas because Pennsylvania seems to be all over the place. We’ve ranked consistently in the bottom half of national reports detailing how all 50 states are getting their folks needled.

We’ll need the powers that be to figure it out. Meantime, keep an eye out for available appointments in Montour County.


So here’s the problem:

Danville is the central location of Geisinger Health System, which was reprimanded for giving vaccines to employee family members.

Geisinger is a healthcare hub for this region, so a DISPROPORTIONATE amount of vaccines were sent to Montour County for distribution to surrounding counties. The Action News data shows what was delivered to each county by the state, but it doesn’t account for where the doses went AFTER being delivered to these providers.

Still, if you go through the map and look at the per-1,000 resident numbers, the dosage delivery for this part of Pennsylvania looks to be much higher than our region. Delco, for example only received 134 doses per 1,000 residents. Lycoming’s number is 342, Columbia 266, Sullivan 114, and Bradford 405.

The data appears to be incomplete. Not enough to tell the story. We need to know how much supply went from Montour to other counties, and how much supply to surrounding counties came directly from the state vs. how much was eventually moved by Geisinger.