Harrisburg, PA - The Department of Health today reminded Pennsylvanians about the importance of all vaccinations, including the COVID-19 vaccine, to protect against a number of serious illnesses that can be life-threatening, such as COVID-19, measles, mumps, whooping cough, and hepatitis.
“It is essential that all Pennsylvanians not only get the COVID-19 vaccine, but remember the importance of staying up to date on all recommended immunizations,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “Vaccines are a safe and effective way to protect yourself from a number of serious, life-threatening diseases. Getting your vaccinations can help protect those around you, such as those with compromised immune systems, who cannot get vaccinated.”
Currently, there are three COVID-19 vaccinations that are approved for use in the United States through an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA and the CDC. The FDA and the CDC continue to closely monitor vaccines for safety and effectiveness and are taking action, as needed, to ensure safety.
Additional recommended vaccines are needed to protect newborns, infants, children, teens and adults from serious diseases. Even if you or your child have not previously been vaccinated, you can get vaccinated now. Vaccine-preventable diseases can be very dangerous, may require hospitalization, and can result in death. A discussion with your doctor or your child’s doctor can help determine which vaccines are needed.
Students starting school have a five-day provisional period to receive the required vaccinations in a multi-dose series. Staying up to date with immunizations provides the best protection against disease.
Vaccines are recommended for adults to prevent serious diseases such as COVID-19, hepatitis, influenza (flu), pneumonia, and shingles. Other vaccine recommendations vary based on age, lifestyle, medical conditions, pregnancy, occupation, past vaccinations and travel destinations.
The Department of Health does offer some vaccines at state health centers. Any child or adult who does not have insurance coverage or if insurance does not cover the necessary vaccinations and the individual meets the requirements can get their vaccines at one of the state health centers, local health departments, federally qualified health centers or any Vaccines For Children providers.
Anyone seeking vaccinations should contact their health care provider, or another health care provider in their community, to schedule an appointment. Pennsylvanians should have their vaccination records available when they call to make an appointment. A parent or legal guardian must accompany a child receiving vaccinations.
“Staying current with your immunizations is an important step to protect yourself and your loved ones against serious diseases,” said Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson. “Immunizations provide protection that is needed by both children and adults to help them stay as healthy as possible.”
More information on the routine, typical immunizations that children and adults should receive to protect themselves from various serious illnesses can be found on the department’s website.
While COVID-19 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”.
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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