UNDATED (AP) — Pennsylvania is expanding eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine in the initial phase of the rollout to include people age 65 and over as well as younger people with serious health conditions that put them at higher risk.
State health officials made the announcement Tuesday.
The Health Department says its updated coronavirus vaccine plan tracks recommendations from the federal government, but it’s uncertain how the expanded rollout will work given the slow pace of vaccinations so far and limitations on supplies.
The major expansion comes amid word that the state’s top health official, Dr. Rachel Levine, is President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to be assistant secretary of health.
On the map, be aware that green means the location currently has access to the vaccine. Red dots mean they are authorized to give vaccinations but do not currently have a supply of vaccine doses.
IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE…. check the map at pa.gov, find a place near you. Click a dot, call the number of that location, ask them what the situation is for them, and potentially make an appointment. Do NOT call them if you are not currently eligible.
Please note that, while eligibility has expanded, the number of vaccine doses given to Pennsylvania by the federal government has NOT increased. You may be eligible to receive the vaccine but still not be able to be vaccinated yet due to supply issues.
Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Health today released the latest revised COVID-19 vaccination plan that includes people who are 65 and older, and those 16-64 with certain underlying medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to the disease.
“Pennsylvania is expanding our vaccination efforts to start including anyone over 65 and people ages 16-64 with serious medical conditions that make them more at risk for severe illness due to COVID-19,” said Cindy Findley, Department of Health’s Deputy Secretary for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and leader of the state’s Vaccine Task Force.
The CDC has defined this group as people who have conditions like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), cancer, sickle cell disease and chronic kidney disease. Pregnant women also are included in this group. A full list of these medical conditions is available in version 5 of the interim vaccine plan on the department’s website.
It is important to note that while the number of people eligible to get vaccinated is expanding, the allotment of vaccine doses that Pennsylvania is receiving from the federal government is not increasing.
“To help people determine when they are eligible for vaccination, and how to get vaccinated, we have developed a ‘vaccine eligibility quiz’ now online at pa.gov,” Findley said.
Once people complete the short vaccine eligibility quiz to determine if it is currently their turn to get vaccinated, they will go to the interactive map online to find a vaccine provider near them. They will schedule an appointment directly with that provider.
FAQs can be found here.
As of today, there are 4,582 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19. Of that number, 950 patients are in the intensive care unit with COVID-19. Most of the patients hospitalized are ages 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in patients 65 or older. More data is available here.
Mask-wearing is required in all businesses and whenever leaving home. Consistent mask-wearing is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19.
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
All Pennsylvania residents are encouraged to sign up for AlertPA, a text notification system for health, weather, and other important alerts like COVID-19 updates from commonwealth agencies. Residents can sign up online at www.ready.pa.gov/BeInformed/Signup-For-Alerts.