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Department of Health Transitions to New Vaccine Map to Enhance Access to COVID-19 Vaccine

05/07/2021

Harrisburg, PA - Pennsylvania Department of Health Acting Secretary Alison Beam announced that the department will transition today, May 7, to using Vaccines.gov as the mapping source to help individuals find a location where they can get vaccinated.

“Our goal is to make it quick and easy for people to get vaccinated and to help overcome any hesitancy,” Acting Secretary Beam said. “We know that some people may be looking for a certain brand of vaccine or want to know which locations have vaccine in stock. This transition provides the best information to Pennsylvanians who want to get vaccinated as we work to reach at least 70 percent of adults vaccinated.”

This transition from the department’s PA Vaccine Provider Map to Vaccine Finder is another example of the department’s work to ensure people can get vaccinated close to home and with the vaccine they may prefer. Individuals searching for a vaccine can choose between locations having any of the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Vaccines.gov, also known as Vaccine Finder, is a free, online service developed by Boston Children’s Hospital, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that provides the latest vaccine availability for those eligible at providers and pharmacies across the United States. This trusted website has been used previously for various other types of vaccines, such as the flu vaccine.

“We believe that access to this next level of information will help people as they make the decision to get vaccinated,” said Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson. “We recognize that it is critical for us to meet people where they are and ensure getting vaccinated is a quick process. 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.”

This transition to Vaccine Finder for Pennsylvania also ensures that all vaccine providers in Pennsylvania display on Apple Maps. Users can find nearby COVID-19 vaccination locations from the search bar in Apple Maps by selecting COVID-19 Vaccines in the Find Nearby menu or by asking Siri, “Where can I get a COVID vaccination?”

Google Maps and Facebook are also using Vaccines.gov as the source of the information being displayed as people search for a location where they can get the COVID-19 vaccine.

In addition, individuals can text their zip code to GETVAX (438829) for English, or VACUNA (822862) for Spanish and receive three possible vaccination sites in their area, with phone numbers to call for an appointment.

The Department of Health is working to ensure the vaccine is provided in a way that is ethical, equitable and efficient to all Pennsylvanians:

·         All Pennsylvanians age 16 and older are eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine. Use Vaccine Finder to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you.

·         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.

·         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”.

Updated Coronavirus Links: Press Releases, State Lab Photos, Graphics

·         Daily COVID-19 Report

·         Press releases regarding coronavirus

·         Latest information on the coronavirus

·         Photos of the state’s lab in Exton (for download and use)

·         Coronavirus and preparedness graphics (located at the bottom of the page)

·         Community preparedness and procedures materials

MEDIA CONTACT:  Barry Ciccocioppo, ra-dhpressoffice@pa.gov
 

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