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Acting Physician General Visits LIFE Geisinger to Talk COVID-19 Vaccine Benefits, Ongoing Efforts to Vaccinate Pennsylvanians

06/30/2021

Harrisburg, PA - Pennsylvania Department of Health Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson today visited LIFE Geisinger in Wilkes-Barre to talk about the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine and provide an update on the state’s vaccine efforts.

“We have three very safe and effective vaccines available in the U.S. to keep people from being hospitalized from COVID-19,” Dr. Johnson said. “The COVID-19 vaccines are the best tools we have to protect against this virus. Getting as many Pennsylvanians vaccinated as possible will offer more protection against the virus for everyone and is the fastest and safest way for us to return to our normal activities.”

Dr. Johnson’s visit to LIFE Geisinger included a tour of the facility and mobile vaccination unit. The visit is another effort to educate individuals about the vaccine and help address their concerns.

“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 leaders, influencers, medical professionals and trusted messengers to ensure that our efforts represent the diversity of our communities as well as to provide the localized approach to addressing individuals’ concerns about the vaccine.”

Geisinger has been vaccinating Pennsylvanians living in the northeastern part of the state since vaccines became available in December 2020, and since then, has administered more than 303,000 vaccine doses.

“We’ve adapted our plans and were one of the first health systems in the commonwealth to administer COVID-19 vaccines to our communities through mass vaccination clinics,” said Allison Hess, Vice President of Health Services at Geisinger. “This includes at our vaccine centers, offering walk-in vaccines and making them available at community medicine practices. We also have brought vaccines directly to our patients through our Geisinger at Home program and at locations like LIFE Geisinger. We continue to encourage everyone who is eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccine so we can get past this pandemic together.”

You can monitor the progress of vaccinating all Pennsylvanians on the race and ethnicity page of the Pennsylvania COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard.

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 12 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark O'Neill - RA-DHpressoffice@pa.gov

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