Department of Health transitions to new vaccine map to enhance access to COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccinate Central Pa.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania Department of Health Acting Secretary Alison Beam announced that the department will transition Friday, 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.”

The transition from the department’s PA Vaccine Provider Map to Vaccine Finder is 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.”

The 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.

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