Tower Health is Distributing Vaccine to:
- Tower Health employees
- Healthcare personnel who qualify as part of the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Phase 1A.
On January 19, 2021, the groups below were added to Phase 1A. We are developing the processes to distribute vaccine to these individuals. Please continue to check this web page for updates on this process.
- Persons ages 65 and older
- Persons ages 16-64 with high risk conditions. You can view the DOH definitions of underlying medical conditions here.
Tower Health receives vaccine supply as an allocation directly from the PA DOH based upon their discretion. Our vaccine availability is limited by the amount of vaccine provided by the state.
Tower Health has the required supply of second dose vaccines for those who have already received their first dose of the vaccine.
You can Help Tower Health to prioritize care for our patients:
- Please do not contact Tower Health doctors about vaccinations. Our practices DO NOT have any vaccines on site and cannot accept COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Continue to check this web page regularly for updates.
- Vaccinations will be scheduled by appointments only via our patient portal. We are developing this process. Continue to check this web page regularly for updates.
Vaccines and the COVID-19 Surge
The COVID-19 vaccine is another tool to help the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it does not mean the pandemic is over or ending. Positive COVID-19 cases continue to increase across the country. Reducing the spread of the virus will enable to vaccine to do its work faster, making it crucial to continue:
- Wearing a mask in public
- Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing
- Washing your hands
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces
- Avoiding touching your face
- Avoiding large crowds
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 a critical component to reduce COVID-19-related illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths. The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have been approved by the FDA under Emergency Use Authorization and are being distributed to hospitals across the United States and across the world. Both vaccines are 95 percent effective at preventing COVID-19. Other vaccines in different stages of development are from AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, 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. The immune system then recognizes the virus and attacks it. Both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s 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.
COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs
Will the vaccine prevent COVID-19?
Both Pfizer and Moderna are reporting approximately 95 percent efficacy in the prevention of COVID-19. Researchers compared how many in the vaccinated group and the placebo group went on to develop the disease. The vaccinated group had a much lower rate of infection than the placebo group. The companies will continue to test people in the clinical trials for antibodies to the COVID-19 virus, which would include people who did not show any symptoms of infection.
How long will it take for the vaccine to begin protecting recipients?
It normally takes about two to three weeks for cellular immunity to develop and several weeks for a full antibody response.
Is the COVID-19 vaccination safe and effective?
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been tested on thousands of volunteers. Effectiveness rates of about 95 percent are being reported, with minimal side effects. The Food and Drug Administration has given the vaccines an Emergency Use Authorization and enhanced safety monitoring has been put in place.
Can recipients get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
No. It is not possible to get COVID-19 from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The Pfizer vaccine uses only a gene from the virus, while other vaccines being studied use inactivated virus. None of these can cause COVID-19.
Do COVID-19 vaccines make recipients test positive for COVID-19?
No. The vaccines will not cause people to test positive for the disease. If the body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, it is possible the person may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate someone had a previous infection or vaccination and that they may have some level of protection against the virus.
Does the COVID-19 vaccine contain a live virus?
No, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. Both vaccines use mRNA technology, which helps the body make a protein that triggers the immune system to recognize and attack the virus.
Will getting the flu vaccine protect me from COVID-19?
No. The flu vaccine does not provide protection from COVID-19. However, getting the flu shot is important because it can prevent you from getting COVID-19 and influenza at the same time. Please encourage your friends and family to get their flu shot this year to help prevent the spread of flu in our communities.