State College, PA - Pennsylvania Department of Health Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson today visited the Bryce Jordan Center Vaccination Site in Centre County to address vaccine hesitancy and encourage college students to get vaccinated before the semester ends.
“As we see more people get vaccinated, we want to continue educating residents about the importance of getting a COVID-19 vaccine,” Dr. Johnson said. “We are encouraging students to take advantage of local vaccination sites on or near their college campus so they can protect themselves, their families, friends and loved ones from COVID-19, before returning home at the end of the semester. Our need to get people vaccinated is a race against the spread of COVID-19 and its variants, some of which are extremely contagious. We need to vaccinate all Pennsylvanians to prevent the further spread of this virus.”
Dr. Johnson’s visit to the Bryce Jordan Center vaccination site is another effort to educate individuals about the vaccine and help address their concerns. This location provides a unique opportunity for students because they can choose the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the two-dose Moderna vaccine.
“We believe that good information will help people make good decisions,” Dr. Johnson continued. “We recognize that it is critical for us to meet people where they are. We are working with local county leaders, influencers, medical professionals, and trusted messengers to ensure that our efforts represent the diversity of our communities as well as to provide the hyper local approach to addressing anyone’s concerns about the vaccine.”
College students returning home prior to receiving their second vaccine dose of a two-dose series should work with a provider in their community to get that second dose at the appropriate time, which will ensure they are fully vaccinated. Students should state that they cannot return to the same provider because of logistical challenges and remember to bring their vaccination card with them to their second dose appointment. The vaccines are not interchangeable, you must get the same vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer) for each of the two doses in the series. To get the most protection, you must get both doses.
The department is encouraging vaccine providers to work with college students and others who may need to get vaccines in two different locations to ensure they are fully vaccinated. Beginning this week, providers will no longer be required to order a specific number of second doses of vaccine for administration. Instead, they will order a total number of doses they expect to administer as first or second doses. This will ensure providers have the vaccine they need for scheduled appointments and second dose requests.
While vaccine supply from the federal government remains limited, the Department of Health is working to ensure the vaccine is provided in a way that is ethical, equitable and efficient. To keep Pennsylvanians informed about vaccination efforts:
- All Pennsylvanians age 16 and older are eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine. The provider map is available here.
- A commonwealth COVID-19 vaccination guide explains the current process for getting one. Pennsylvanians with questions about the vaccination process can call the Department of Health hotline at 1-877-724-3258.
- Vaccine provider map to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you.
- All of the locations that received vaccine and how much they have received can be found on the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution webpage.
- Vaccine dashboard data can also be found on the website to find more information on the doses administered and showcase demographic information.
- The Unite Against COVID Weekly Update is a round-up of news you can use and answers to your most pressing vaccine questions – delivered directly to your inbox every week.
- Pennsylvanians can provide feedback on the Pennsylvania COVID-19 Interim Vaccination Plan by clicking on the Plan Feedback Form square under Popular Vaccine Topics here.
- Frequently asked questions can be found here.
The Wolf Administration stresses the role Pennsylvanians play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19:
- Get vaccinated with one of the three safe and effective vaccines available to provide the best layer of protection.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
- Clean surfaces frequently.
- Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
- If you must go out, you are required to wear a mask when in a business or where it is difficult to maintain proper social distancing. Fully vaccinated people are allowed to participate in some activities without a mask.
- Download the COVID Alert PA app and make your phone part of the fight. The free app can be found in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store by searching for “covid alert pa”.
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