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Front-line health care workers among first to receive vaccine based on Pennsylvania DOH guidance

DANVILLE, Pa. – With a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine receiving emergency use authorization, Geisinger has established an online resource hub to help address questions about the vaccine. Available at Geisinger.org/COVIDvax, information includes details about the vaccine safety information, who Geisinger should vaccinate according to state guidance, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Geisinger will administer vaccines in accordance with state and federal guidelines. The Pennsylvania DOH has recommended health care systems prioritize vaccinating their own employees. In accordance with these guidelines, Geisinger will begin to provide vaccines to its front-line staff who provide significant care to patients with COVID-19 and to other front-line staff in critical departments. Vaccine eligibility will expand as supplies and distribution protocols allow.

The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses of the same vaccine which must be given between 26 and 30 days apart. Geisinger is expected to receive 2,000 – 3,000 vaccine doses in this initial shipment and will begin providing vaccines to eligible employees within days of receiving the first allotment.  

Despite the anticipated distribution of a vaccine, it’s not a signal to end the preventive measures we can take to stop the spread of the virus. It’s expected that vaccines will not be widely available to the public until spring or summer of 2021. This means at no time — before, during or after — receiving a vaccine should people stop wearing a mask, avoiding large and small gatherings, physical distancing and handwashing. 

Geisinger continues to see rising rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations and positive test results across its hospital system. In the past two weeks, Geisinger is averaging more than one positive COVID-19 admission per hour to its hospitals, seeing more than 300 new positive outpatient COVID-19 tests per day, and has a positive testing rate close to 25 percent, meaning 1 in 4 people you encounter in the community may be infected with COVID-19. 
 

About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes nine hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With nearly 24,000 employees and more than 1,600 employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at www.geisinger.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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