Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania Department of Health Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson today joined David Morehouse, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Donald M. Yealy, M.D., UPMC’s chief medical officer to announce a joint commitment to educating the community about the COVID-19 vaccine. The Pittsburgh Penguins will be incorporating Pennsylvania’s “PA Unites Against COVID” campaign materials across their organization, with the Penguins displaying these materials at PPG Paints Arena at their home games.
“Good information leads to good decisions, which is why it is important for us to work with organizations across the state to educate the public about the dangers of this virus and provide accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines,” Dr. Johnson said. “COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and the ones currently available have gone through extensive clinical trials. We have learned that it takes a variety of tools to stop a pandemic, and those tools include containing the virus, mitigating the spread, healing those who have been infected and protecting everyone with the vaccine. We thank the Pittsburgh Penguins and UPMC for joining us in this effort as we continue to unite in this fight against COVID-19.”
The commonwealth launched the statewide public health awareness campaign, “PA Unites Against COVID”, in September 2020 to remind Pennsylvanians that they have the power to stop the spread of COVID-19 and provide them with tools and resources to help educate others and join the fight against the virus.
The campaign has invested $3.8M funded through a federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant to educate and rally together Pennsylvania to fight COVID-19, with special focus on marginalized communities. Downloadable resources, including posters and social media toolkits for community outreach can be found on PA.gov/COVID.
“It is critical for all of us to work together to stop the spread of Covid and defeat this pandemic,” said David Morehouse, president and CEO of the Penguins. “The Penguins are proud to team up with our partners at UPMC, Governor Wolf, Acting Secretary Beam, Dr. Johnson and the Pennsylvania Department of Health on the “PA Unites Against Covid” program to help educate the public about the importance of vaccines.”
The Penguins are the first professional sports team to join the movement. The team has been working closely with UPMC to hold a number of vaccine clinics throughout western Pennsylvania and offered vaccines to its players last week. UPMC has been essential in advising the Penguins on safety protocols for returning to the ice and welcoming fans back to PPG Paints Arena.
“UPMC is committed to making COVID-19 vaccines available and accessible to the community and we are proud to partner with the Wolf administration and the Pittsburgh Penguins on this educational effort,” said Donald M. Yealy, M.D., UPMC’s chief medical officer. “Vaccination remains a critical component of our COVID-19 mitigation efforts — which also include masking, distancing and hand washing. The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over yet, so we must remain vigilant over these next few months to keep everyone safe.”
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:
- 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.
- 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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