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State expands COVID-19 vaccine eligiblilty

The state Department of Health announced today that those ages 65 and older and ages 16 to 64 with serious health conditions will be able to receive their vaccinations under the updated phase 1A vaccine distribution guidelines created by the federal government.

The guidelines have been adapted by the government to help the more vulnerable populations; they have a higher risk of being hospitalized and dying from the virus.

Those who are curious about whether or not they will be eligible for the vaccine with the updated guidelines can visit pa.gov to take an eligibility quiz and also schedule via the state’s vaccination availability map that locates clinics and hospitals distributing the vaccines and their contact information. http://bit.ly/COVID19VaccinePA

Effective today, PA has expanded the COVID 19 vaccination efforts in Phase 1A to include anyone over 65 and people ages 16-64 with serious medical conditions that make them more at risk for severe illness. View more information about updated vaccine plan:

Phase 1A is the first vaccine distribution step. The vaccine is currently being distributed to:

Long-term care facility residents

Health care personnel including, but not limited to:

Emergency medical service personnel

Nurses

Nursing assistants

Physicians

Dentists

Dental hygienists

Chiropractors

Therapists

Phlebotomists

Pharmacists

Technicians

Pharmacy technicians

Health professions students and trainees

Direct support professionals

Clinical personnel in school settings or correctional facilities

Contractual HCP not directly employed by the health care facility

Persons not directly involved in patient care but potentially exposed to infectious material that can transmit disease among or from health care personnel and patients

Persons ages 65 and older

Persons ages 16-64 with high-risk conditions:

Cancer

Chronic kidney disease

COPD

Down Syndrome

Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies

Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant or from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines

Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2) Severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2) Pregnancy Sickle cell disease Smoking Type 2 diabetes mellitus

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