On Friday, April 23, the PA Department of Health notified all vaccine providers that they may resume administering the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine.
The pause from April 13 to April 23 highlights that the numerous safety procedures for monitoring COVID-19 vaccine side effects are working. All steps are being taken to ensure all the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
Your Second Dose is Important (#GotMyShotPA)
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both require a second dose for you to be fully vaccinated. If you get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you only need one dose. Two weeks after your last dose, your immune system will be able to recognize and protect against COVID-19.
Once you get your last dose, don’t forget to share the great news with others on social media using the #GotMyShotPA hashtag! Encourage your friends and family to do the same.
Vaccines for Homebound Pennsylvanians
On April 26, the Department of Health issued an amended order to vaccine providers requiring them to work with AAAs and Medical Assistance to schedule appointments for homebound individuals.
If you or someone you know cannot leave home to get a vaccine, contact your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) or Medical Assistance managed care organization.
Getting College Students Vaccinated
College students returning home after the semester ends should look to get their COVID vaccines as quickly as possible.
With the Spring semester ending in the next few weeks, some college students may get their first dose of a two-dose series (Pfizer or Moderna) while still on campus. But they may move home before receiving their second dose. But don’t worry. Pennsylvania is committed to making sure that everyone – including college students – can get fully vaccinated.
Even if you get your first dose in a different county or state, you can get your second dose here. Just find a vaccine provider near you and let them know you are a college student and can’t go to the same place as your first dose because of logistical challenges.
Questions of the Week
If I am fully vaccinated, do I have to wear a mask outdoors?
Under the new update, fully vaccinated people do not have to wear a mask outdoors, except in certain crowded settings and venues. However, everyone must continue wearing masks when indoors with unvaccinated people.
Are the vaccines safe? Have they been properly tested?
The COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized for emergency use have gone through extensive studies to ensure they are as safe as possible, and systems are in place at the CDC to monitor safety issues throughout the country. Clinical trials for all vaccines must show they meet rigorous criteria for safety and effectiveness before they can be authorized and approved for use. The known and potential benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine must outweigh the known and potential risks.