Health director sounds alarm on delta variant: ‘I’m very worried about everyone in our city’

Written by on July 29, 2021

Health director sounds alarm on delta variant: ‘I’m very worried about everyone in our city’ 

By Genesis Ortega

July 30, 2021

As the COVID-19 delta variant sweeps across the country, health officials in the Lehigh Valley are trying to get more people vaccinated against the virus.

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But it’s proving difficult to know who is already vaccinated. 

Vicky Kistler, director of the Allentown Health Bureau said, “Our city is a city of color, and I’m very worried about everyone in our city.”

Data collected from the Allentown Health Bureau show that 65% of those who received a shot through the city are white. Three percent are Black, and only 8% are Hispanic. Thirty percent either chose not to disclose their race or didn’t identify with the races on the questionnaire. 

You don’t have to live in Allentown to get a shot at the health bureau. And the bureau’s numbers don’t include people who got vaccines at other places, like at a vaccine clinic, pharmacy, or one of the health networks. 

“I’m not just looking at it as though this is a Black or a Brown or a white. This is an everyone issue, this is an all-hands-on-deck issue,” says Kistler. 

State data only breaks down the numbers by gender, age, race and ethnicity as local as Lehigh County. 

WLVR News reached out to the Pennsylvania Department of Health but in an email, a spokesperson said vaccination data is only available by county or zip code. 

Allentown accounts for a third of the county’s population. 

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