The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. Vaccination is free, most people are eligible, and they are available in the community. Visit Vaccines.gov to find a vaccine provider near you.
Vaccinations for Children Ages 5 to 11
The Pfizer vaccine has received emergency use authorization from the FDA for 5- to 11-year-olds. Several Tower Health facilities will offer the COVID-19 vaccine for patients ages 5 to 11 by appointment. Children will need to receive two doses of the vaccine, 21 days apart. At the time of the first dose, the second dose appointment will be scheduled.
Locations for COVID Vaccine – Ages 5 to 11
206 S 6th Avenue
West Reading, PA 19611
301 South 7th Avenue, Suite 200
West Reading, PA 19611
9501 Roosevelt Blvd., Suite 305
Philadelphia, PA 19114
2101 State Hill Road, Suite 6
Wyomissing, PA 19610
Parents and guardians interested in vaccinating their children are encouraged to call their child’s pediatrician to schedule an appointment. Tower Health also encourages community members to explore options for receiving the vaccine, for yourself or your eligible children, from other sources including local pharmacies and community clinics. You can find vaccine distribution sites by searching vaccines.gov, texting a home zip code to 438829, or by calling 1-800-232-0233. If you receive your COVID-19 vaccination, we encourage you to share your vaccine record card with your provider at your next appointment so the information can be added to your medical record.
There is currently no guidance recommending one vaccine over the other based on health status or risk profile. The specific vaccine manufacturer offered is determined by what vaccine is available on the day of your appointment. You are unable to select a specific vaccine manufacturer during the scheduling process.
The current Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses for full protection. Upon receiving a first dose, we will schedule your appointment for the second vaccine dose.
COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Fee
There is no out-of-pocket cost for you to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. However, please bring your health insurance card with you to your vaccine appointment. Tower Health will bill your insurer for an administration fee for both vaccine doses. You will not be responsible for vaccination charges not covered by your insurance. If you do not have insurance, we will not charge you an administration fee.
Vaccines and COVID-19 Safety
The COVID-19 vaccine is another tool to help the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Positive COVID-19 cases continue in our region and across the country. Vaccination reduces the spread of the virus, along with wearing a mask, social distancing, and hand hygiene as recommended by the CDC.
How Vaccines Work
A vaccine stimulates the body’s immune system to produce antibodies and cellular immunity to combat a disease. This helps people develop immunity to that disease without getting the disease first. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves vaccines when they are effective and safe for use, and monitors the ongoing safety along with the CDC.
Safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines are critical to reducing COVID-19-related illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths.
The Pfizer vaccine (referred to as Comirnaty), for ages 16 and older, has been fully approved by the FDA. The Pfizer (for 12-15 year old and dose 3 for immunocompromised), Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines have been approved by the FDA under Emergency Use Authorization. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are 95 percent effective in preventing COVID-19, while the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has shown a 66 percent effectiveness. Other vaccines are in different stages of development from AstraZeneca, Inovio, and Novavax.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use novel messenger-RNA (mRNA) technology, which uses genetic material to cause the body to create a protein from the virus. It does not alter your DNA in any way. Your immune system then recognizes the virus and attacks it if you are exposed to the virus. The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines require two doses—both are critical for full protection from the virus. Pfizer’s doses are administered 21 days apart, while Moderna’s are administered 28 days apart.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a viral vector vaccine, which uses a weakened, harmless, and non-infectious virus to deliver instructions to cells. The cells then produce a piece of the virus that causes COVID-19, triggering the body’s immune system to recognize these pieces. In response, the immune system produces antibodies and activates other immune cells. This process trains the body to fight a future infection of COVID-19.
All vaccines are most effective two weeks after the last dose is administered.