Department of Health: COVID-19 Vaccine One of Many Important Vaccines for Pennsylvanians

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HARRISBURG, PA — The Department of Health is reminding Pennsylvanians about the importance of all vaccinations, including the COVID-19 vaccine, to protect against a number of serious illnesses that can be life-threatening, such as COVID-19, measles, mumps, whooping cough, and hepatitis.

“It is essential that all Pennsylvanians not only get the COVID-19 vaccine, but remember the importance of staying up to date on all recommended immunizations,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “Vaccines are a safe and effective way to protect yourself from a number of serious, life-threatening diseases. Getting your vaccinations can help protect those around you, such as those with compromised immune systems, who cannot get vaccinated.”

Currently, there are three COVID-19 vaccinations that are approved for use in the United States through an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA and the CDC. The FDA and the CDC continue to closely monitor vaccines for safety and effectiveness and are taking action, as needed, to ensure safety.

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Additional recommended vaccines are needed to protect newborns, infants, children, teens and adults from serious diseases. Even if you or your child have not previously been vaccinated, you can get vaccinated now. Vaccine-preventable diseases can be very dangerous, may require hospitalization, and can result in death. A discussion with your doctor or your child’s doctor can help determine which vaccines are needed.

Students starting school have a five-day provisional period to receive the required vaccinations in a multi-dose series. Staying up to date with immunizations provides the best protection against disease.

Vaccines are recommended for adults to prevent serious diseases such as COVID-19, hepatitis, influenza (flu), pneumonia, and shingles. Other vaccine recommendations vary based on age, lifestyle, medical conditions, pregnancy, occupation, past vaccinations and destinations.

The Department of Health does offer some vaccines at state health centers. Any child or adult who does not have insurance coverage or if insurance does not cover the necessary vaccinations and the individual meets the requirements can get their vaccines at one of the state health centers, local health departments, federally qualified health centers or any Vaccines For Children providers.

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Anyone seeking vaccinations should contact their health care provider, or another health care provider in their community, to schedule an appointment. Pennsylvanians should have their vaccination records available when they call to make an appointment. A parent or legal guardian must accompany a child receiving vaccinations.

“Staying current with your immunizations is an important step to protect yourself and your loved ones against serious diseases,” said Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson. “Immunizations provide protection that is needed by both children and adults to help them stay as healthy as possible.”

More information on the routine, typical immunizations that children and adults should receive to protect themselves from various serious illnesses can be found on the department’s website.

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