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COVID-19 Cases in our Region 9-17-21

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As the COVID-19 vaccine continues to roll out across the state, Pennsylvanians continue to have questions such as “When can I get Vaccinated?” and “Where should I sign-up?”

WTAJ has collected various information and data and compiled it here.

Content Source: Pennsylvania Department of Health

What To Know: COVID-19 Vaccine In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s Vaccine Rollout Plan

Currently, we’re in Phase 2 of Pennsylvania’s vaccine rollout. All individuals not previously covered who are 16 and older and do not have a contraindication to the vaccine.

Phase 1A

Phase 1A is the first vaccine distribution step. The vaccine was distributed to:

  • • Long-term care facility residents
  • • Health care personnel including, but not limited to: emergency medical service personnel, nurses, nursing assistants, physicians, dentists, dental hygienists, chiropractors, therapists, phlebotomists, pharmacists, technicians, pharmacy technicians, health professions students and trainees, direct support professionals, clinical personnel in school settings or correctional facilities, and contractual HCP not directly employed by the health care facility
  • • Persons not directly involved in patient care but potentially exposed to infectious material that can transmit disease among or from health care personnel and patients
  • • Persons ages 65 and older
  • • Persons ages 16-64 with high-risk conditions: cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, Down Syndrome, heart conditions (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies), immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant or from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines, obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2), severe obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2), pregnancy, sickle cell disease, smoking, type 2 diabetes mellitus
Phase 1B
  • • People in congregate settings not otherwise specified as long-term care facilities, and persons receiving home and community-based services
  • • First responders
  • • Correctional officers and other workers serving people in congregate care settings not included in Phase 1A
  • • Food and agricultural workers
  • • U.S. Postal Service workers
  • • Manufacturing workers
  • • Grocery store workers
  • • Education workers
  • • Clergy and other essential support for houses of worship
  • • Public transit workers
  • • Individuals caring for children or adults in early childhood and adult day programs
Phase 1C
  • • Essential workers in these sectors:
    • • Transportation and logistics
    • • Water and wastewater
    • • Food service
    • • Housing construction
    • • Finance, including bank tellers
    • • Information technology
    • • Communications
    • • Energy, including nuclear reactors
    • • Legal services
    • • Federal, state, county and local government workers, including county election workers, elected officials and members of the judiciary and their staff
    • • Media
    • • Public safety
    • • Public health workers
Phase 2 (Current Phase)
All individuals not previously covered who are 16 and older and do not have a contraindication to the vaccine (note that at this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech product is approved for those age 16 and 17)
About the COVID-19 Vaccine in Pennsylvania
Department of Health Vaccine FAQ

Currently, we’re in Phase 2. Vaccines have started to be administered to all individuals not previously covered who are 16 and older and do not have a contraindication to the vaccine.

Why should I get a COVID-19 Vaccine?

Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. Vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like wearing masks and social distancing, help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) recommendations to protect yourself and othersOpens In A New Window will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

Who will receive the vaccine first in Pennsylvania?

PHASE 2:

Phase 2: All individuals not previously covered who are 16 and older and do not have a contraindication to the vaccine (note that at this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech product is approved for those age 16 and 17)

What does “limited” supply mean?

Limited supply means there is not enough vaccine for the entire population of Pennsylvania.

This means that not everyone will be able to be vaccinated right away. It is understandable how concerning this would be for people, especially for those who are at increased risk for serious illness from this virus and for their loved ones.

Will the vaccine be mandatory?
No, the department does not have any plans to make the vaccine mandatory.
Is natural immunity from the COVID-19 disease better than immunity from the vaccine?

Getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection, known as immunity. But experts don’t know how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness.

Both natural immunity and immunity produced by a vaccine are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

Does PA have plans to join a joint group to review vaccine safety?

No. Acting Secretary Alison Beam and Governor Tom Wolf are confident in the CDC, U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) review processes and that they will be safe and effective.

Can you get the COVID-19 vaccine outside of your home state?

Yes, you can get the vaccine outside of your home state.

Is PA considering any scenarios where the vaccine would be mandated (e.g. working in congregate settings)?

We have no plans to make the vaccine mandatory.

How many vaccines might be multi-shot or single-shot vaccinations?

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which has received an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA, is a two-dose vaccine.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has also received an EUA from the FDA and is a two-dose vaccine.

There are four U.S. COVID-19 vaccines in production right now from the following drug manufacturers:

  • • AstraZeneca;
  • • Inovio;
  • • Novavax; and
  • • Johnson & Johnson.

Three of the four additional vaccines in production through are also two-dose vaccines.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single-dose vaccine.

How many trials were completed and how successful were they? What side effects came out of the trials?

Currently, clinical trials are evaluating investigational COVID-19 vaccines in many thousands of study participants to generate scientific data and other information for the FDA to determine their safety and effectiveness. These clinical trials are being conducted according to the rigorous standards set forth by FDA in their June 2020 guidance document, Development and Licensure of Vaccines to Prevent COVID-19. If FDA determines that a vaccine meets its safety and effectiveness standards, it can make these vaccines available for use in the United States by approval or emergency use authorization.

What will the vaccine mean for Pennsylvanians and how will their lives be impacted?

The COVID-19 vaccine is another tool in our toolkit in the fight against COVID-19. People who are vaccinated still need to wear masks, wash hands, use hand sanitizer, social distance and avoid small and large gatherings. Individuals will be much more protected and can have that comfort that they will have a lesser chance to catch COVID-19 and/or a less severe case if they do get COVID-19. We anticipate it will take significant time to get through the vaccination phases and have community spread go down significantly. Until that time, we need everyone to continue all of the safety measures that are in effect now.

Can my kids get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is not yet approved for children under the age of 16. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is not yet approved for children under the age of 18. More research is needed to make sure any COVID-19 vaccine will be safe and effective for infants, kids and teens.

How long will it take to distribute COVID-19 vaccines?

The department does not have a time-table of how long it will take to distribute COVID-19 vaccines across the commonwealth since there is only a limited supply of vaccine available at this time.

Will PA be posting a map of locations where people can be vaccinated?

The department will use the CDC’s VaccineFinder portal to show where people can be vaccinated once the vaccine is available to a larger audience.

Who will be vaccinated first?

The department’s goal is to ensure every Pennsylvanian who wants a vaccine can be vaccinated. At the advisement of the CDC, Pennsylvania is prioritizing the order in which individuals are vaccinated to ensure those that are in most critical need are vaccinated first in accordance with recommendations of the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

How long after the initial phase will additional vaccines be available?

We do not know many additional Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine allocations we will receive beyond what we are currently allocated.

Are nursing homes and long-term care facilities in pase 1 or phase 2?

The Federal government stood up a Federal Pharmacy Partnership program. Through this partnership, skilled nursing facilities and long-term care facilities and congregant care settings and their staff will be vaccinated.

How do healthcare workers know they’re eligible to get the vaccine?

The department wants to make sure that anyone who wants to get a COVID-19 vaccine can do so, but this is still developing at this time and will vary depending on the healthcare provider locations administering the COVID-19 vaccine.

Where and when can I get it?

Many providers are being enrolled and will be able to administer COVID-19 vaccinations. Many pharmacies, health centers, doctor’s offices, urgent care centers, and mass vaccination clinics will be vaccine providers. The general public can be vaccinated in Phase 2.

I have a condition that may make me more at risk of COVID-19. Does that mean I am automatically in Phase 1A?

The Pennsylvania Department of Health continues to align with the CDC’s list of medical conditions that place someone at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. At this time, those with medical conditions who CDC indicates might be at an increased risk are not defined into a particular phase of Pennsylvania’s Interim COVID-19 Vaccination Plan. We will continue to review the information from the CDC as we move forward.

If I have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine, do I need to quarantine if I’m exposed to someone with COVID-19?

People who are vaccinated against COVID-19 do NOT need to quarantine after an exposure to another person with COVID-19 if they meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • • They are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine);
  • • They are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series; AND,
  • • They have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure.

This does NOT apply to inpatients or residents in healthcare settings.

Regardless of vaccination status, people who exhibit new or unexplained symptoms of COVID-19 still need to isolate and get tested for COVID-19.

Close contacts who have not received vaccine or who do not meet all of the above criteria must follow existing quarantine guidance.

DOH continues to recommend COVID-19 prevention measures such as masking, physical distancing, avoiding nonessential travel, and hand hygiene for all people regardless of vaccination status.

Where To Get Vaccinated

This map will be updated as more locations receive vaccines. Click on a marker to see details on vaccination locations. All locations listed on the map are enrolled providers. It is important to note that the supply of vaccines compared to the demand is very limited, and many locations may not have vaccines available.


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