Vaccination eligibility expands to approximately 3.5 million Pennsylvanians
Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Health Tuesday 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.