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Geisinger expands availability for the COVID-19 vaccine

DANVILLE – Geisinger is expanding the availability of COVID-19 vaccines to those who qualify as part of the state’s updated Phase 1A groups. Vaccine appointments are available at the health system’s community-based vaccine centers throughout central and northeastern Pennsylvania.

Appointments are required to receive the vaccine, and can be made online using myGeisinger. A questionnaire must be completed prior to scheduling to ensure eligibility and for health screening purposes. Those receiving the vaccine must bring to their appointments identification that verifies your eligibility as part of the state’s Phase 1A groups (certificate, license etc.) and a valid driver’s license.

If you’ve been cared for by Geisinger or have Geisinger Health Plan insurance, but don’t have a myGeisinger account, you can create one online. Those who haven’t been cared for by Geisinger and don’t have Geisinger Health Plan insurance or anyone under the age of 18 can call 570-284-3657 for help setting up an account.

In alignment with federal and state guidelines and as supplies, staffing and logistics allow, COVID vaccines will now also be available to those who qualify as part of the state’s Phase 1A groups.

Phase 1A groups now include:

¯ Healthcare workers

¯ People age 65 and older

¯ People age 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions including: o Cancer

¯ Chronic kidney disease

¯ COPD

¯ Down syndrome

¯ Heart conditions (e.g., heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy)

¯ Weakened immune system (from solid organ/blood/bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids or other immunity-weakening medicines)

¯ Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of =30 kg/m2) or severe obesity (BMI =40 kg/m2)

¯ Pregnancy

¯ Sickle cell disease

¯ Smoking

¯ Type 2 diabetes

Geisinger is administering the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna COVID vaccines. Due to the vaccine distribution process, it isn’t possible to select the vaccine you receive when scheduling your appointment. It’s important to remember that two doses of the vaccine are required, so it’s encouraged to consider both doses when scheduling. The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine is needed 21 days after the first, and the second dose of the Moderna vaccine is needed 28 days after the first. Scheduling for your second dose occurs at the time you receive the first dose at the vaccine center.

It’s required to receive both vaccine doses at the same location. Receiving that second dose is a critical step in the COVID vaccination process to trigger the immune response needed to develop an immunity level against COVID-19.

Vaccines also remain available to Geisinger staff and those in the state’s Tier 1A phase.

To date, Geisinger has provided over 25,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Even as the vaccine becomes more available in our communities, preventive measures to help stop the spread of the virus continue to be important. Everyone, including those who receive the vaccine, should continue to properly wear a mask, avoid group gatherings, maintain physical distancing and practice proper handwashing. For answers to questions about the vaccine, visit the Geisinger COVID-19 vaccine resources center at geisinger.org/COVIDvax.

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