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August 20, 2021

All Pennsylvanians 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine

To find an appointment near you, use the Vaccine Finder.


Text your zip code to GETVAX (438829) for English, or VACUNA (822862) for Spanish and receive three possible vaccination sites in your area, with phone numbers to call for an appointment.


If you need help, call the PA Department of Health Hotline at 1-877-724-3258.




Guidance for Third Doses for Immunocompromised

Third doses of COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna have been authorized and recommended for people with compromised immune systems. The PA Department of Health is actively working with vaccine providers to administer third shots to further protect vulnerable Pennsylvanians. 

Pennsylvania’s strong vaccine supply and robust provider infrastructure will meet the needs of this critical population. Immunocompromised individuals who are fully vaccinated with Pfizer and Moderna should talk to their health care provider before scheduling a third vaccine appointment. Current guidance about third doses is available under Frequently Asked Questions for Additional Dose of COVID Vaccine



K-12 COVID-19 Testing Program

Announced this week, K-12 school districts in Pennsylvania can get pooled classroom testing free of charge to help to provide safer in-person environments for students and educators. Pooled classroom testing combines samples from all consenting individuals in a classroom and runs them as a single test. It is a simple and scalable way to easily test many students at once while minimizing resource strain. This is part of a strategy that builds on many measures undertaken by schools and public health systems, including vaccination, symptom screening, physical distancing, facility improvements, masks/face coverings and PPE, hand washing, and monitoring of return to school after illness.  

Participating K-12 schools will have pooled testing performed weekly to identify and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Testing results will be turned around 1-2 days after testing.  



Free COVID-19 Vaccines at Fairs

You can get a COVID-19 vaccine at the below fairs. No registration is needed. Clinics have been scheduled for the following dates and times at:


•    Lawrence County Fair, Aug. 20 from 6pm-8pm

•    PA Flavor (Dauphin County), Aug. 21 from 12:30pm-2:30pm

•    Crawford County Fair, Aug. 25-26 from 10am-5pm
•    Albion Area Fair (Erie County), Sept. 18 from 1pm-3pm 


Additional COVID-19 vaccination clinics at fairs are currently being planned. Fairs interested in offering a COVID-19 vaccination clinic should contact the PA Department of Health to discuss the possibility of setting up a clinic.


Starting School with Vaccines

The CDC recommends everyone 12 years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against the virus.  Vaccines are the best way to protect yourself and your child from getting sick with COVID-19. All three authorized COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Currently, children 12 years and older can get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Your child will need a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine three weeks after their first shot. 

COVID-19 vaccines have been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history, which includes studies in adolescents. To find out more about COVID-19 vaccines for children and teens, please visit the CDC’s website



Get Testing if You Have COVID-19 Symptoms

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please get tested for the virus – especially if you have been in contact with someone who has been infected. For those who are fully vaccinated, the CDC guidance only recommends you get tested if you’ve had a known exposure to someone with COVID-19. 


Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell. 

For more about COVID-19 symptoms and to find testing sites near you, visit PA.GOV/COVID.

Vaccines are the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19. Everyone 12 and older can get a COVID-19 vaccine in Pennsylvania. 



Protect Yourself Against Variants by Getting Vaccinated

COVID-19 vaccines are still the best way to protect against the virus – including against new variants like the Delta variant. The data shows current COVID-19 vaccines provide protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death in patients who have one of the variants of the virus.

New variants of COVID-19 are emerging around the world. Viruses are constantly changing, and viral mutations are common. We see this happen in other viruses, like in the virus that causes influenza. 

Viruses that spread rapidly have more opportunity for their genetic material to change, so variants can emerge faster than for viruses that spread more slowly. Some of the most common COVID-19 variants appear to spread faster than the original virus. 




Question of the Week


If I am immunocompromised, how do I get a third dose?


The amended Emergency Use Authorizations allow for people who have had an organ transplant, or those with a similar level of weakened immune system, to get an extra dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. You should get same shot you initially received but mixing of vaccines is permitted for the third shot if your original vaccine is not available.


If you are immunocompromised and fully vaccinated with Pfizer and Moderna, talk to your health care provider before scheduling a third vaccine appointment. Current guidance about third doses is available under Frequently Asked Questions for Additional Dose of COVID Vaccine.


Have more questions? Check out our Vaccine FAQs.

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Commonwealth of Pennsylvania | Harrisburg, PA 
PA Dept. of Health Hotline: 1-877-724-3258  Web: PA.GOV/COVID