WEST READING, PA — Even as distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine accelerates within our community, members of the public may have questions about how distribution works and why it can seem so difficult to get the vaccine.
Teams of Tower Health experts have focused on the COVID-19 global pandemic since the beginning of 2020, before the virus arrived in the area. The health system focused its efforts on preventing the spread of the virus and caring for those infected, while also maintaining all other vital healthcare services that save lives and protect the health of our communities.
That effort continues today and has expanded to include the safe administration of COVID-19 vaccines to members of the community, in accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) guidelines.
“Our teams meet daily to review all aspects of not only caring for COVID-19 patients, but also vaccine administration including: our current supply of vaccine, appointment availability, staffing and supplies, vaccine clinic locations, technology resources, and data gathering and reporting,” said Therese Sucher, Tower Health Chief Operating Officer. “This is a complete team effort that requires contributions from every clinical and administrative function across Tower Health.”
Tower Health states they make weekly requests to the State for vaccine supply and receives weekly shipments from the State. The health system does not automatically receive the amount of vaccine requested. The amount of vaccine received is determined by the State and establishes how many individuals we can vaccinate. Each day, the remainder of the weekly supply of vaccines is evaluated to project our ability to schedule additional vaccination appointments.
Additionally stated, All Tower Health vaccinations are administered by appointment only and must be scheduled through a MyTowerHealth account. Instructions for registering for a MyTowerHealth account are available on Tower Health’s website. If an individual does not have access to technology and wants to schedule a vaccine appointment, they should call 484-659-3000, Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. This phone number is only for consumers without technology.
While vaccine availability and appointments are currently limited, Tower Health has launched a COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Form – located in our MyTowerHealth app – for patients in Phase 1A to register their interest in receiving the vaccine. Patients must complete a brief questionnaire to indicate their eligibility according to current State guidelines.
Mary Agnew, Tower Health Chief Nursing Officer added, “When an individual completes the COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Form, they will be registered to receive a MyTowerHealth notification when vaccine appointments are available, per the Department of Health guidelines, at Tower Health. Our ability to work through the waitlist for vaccination is determined by the amount of vaccine we receive from the State.”
“While you are waiting for notification from Tower Health about available vaccination appointments, we encourage you to explore other options for receiving the vaccine from other sources,” Ms. Sucher added. “Getting the vaccine is more important than where you get the vaccine.”
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