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Who we’re vaccinating now:
  • ​Mount Nittany Health employees

  • Healthcare personnel (HCP) in Centre County in PA DOH category 1A

​​

Review list of eligible healthcare personnel here. If you fall into one of these groups, click here for scheduling information.

Who will also be eligible when we receive more vaccine:
  • Individuals age 65 and older

  • Individuals age 16-64 with high-risk conditions or immunocompromised (weakened immune system)

If you fall into one of these groups, please do not call the health system, rather check back regularly for scheduling information. Online self-scheduling for the vaccine will soon be available.

Who’s coming up after that:

COVID-19 Vaccine Update (January 19)

Like all health systems across the state, Mount Nittany Health learned on January 19, that the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) expanded the eligibility list for the COVID-19 vaccine to include anyone over the age of 65, as well as those between 16 and 64 who have certain conditions that put them at higher risk.

We are working closely with the DOH and have ordered additional quantities of the COVID-19 vaccine to expand our vaccination program to the newly added groups.

Right now, our vaccine supply is limited to those groups that had been previously announced, and we are working through a wait list to schedule community health workers with that supply.

We will provide updates on our website, including a self-scheduling option, as soon as we have more information on when we can expect more of the vaccine.

Rather than calling the health system, the best way to stay informed and to self-schedule for the vaccine when it is available is to check mountnittany.org/coronavirus regularly.

To date, we have vaccinated more than 2200 Mount Nittany Health employees, medical staff and community healthcare workers.

 
 

COVID-19 Vaccine Update (January 14)

As has been reported, we have received additional allotments of vaccine through the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and are administering these vaccines based on guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and DOH. Mount Nittany Health has vaccinated more than 600 Centre County healthcare-related workers to date and we are continuing to offer vaccinations to Centre County healthcare-related workers according to the DOH's criteria for category 1A.

Vaccinations will continue to be offered to the following groups during this phase (DOH category 1A):

 

  • Healthcare personnel (HCP) in Centre County including, but not limited to:

    • Emergency medical service personnel

    • Funeral home staff

    • Nurses

    • Nursing assistants

    • Physicians

    • Dentists

    • Dental hygienists

    • Chiropractors

    • Therapists

    • Phlebotomists

    • Pharmacists

    • Technicians

    • Pharmacy technicians

    • Health professions students and trainees

    • Clinical personnel in school settings or correctional facilities

    • Staff/providers who provide clinical care in correctional facilities within Centre County

    • Clinical staff working in dialysis centers in Centre County

If you are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination during this phase based on the criteria above, then please call 814.234.6106, option 5 to schedule an appointment. Appointments will be scheduled Monday through Friday, 7:15 am - 4:00 pm while supplies last. Proof of employment will be required, such as paystub or employment ID badge.

The PA DOH, as the state's public health agency, is the lead in terms of moving from one vaccination phase to the next and the DOH will announce when we can move into these phases. Subsequent phases include PA DOH category 1B, which is defined as frontline essential workers and those over the age of 75, and PA DOH category 1C, which is defined as individuals aged 65-74 years, those with underlying medical conditions and other essential workers.  As information is finalized on additional vaccine allotments and the status of the subsequent DOH phases, we will keep you and the communities that we serve informed of our plans to vaccinate these additional groups.

Please remember to check mountnittany.org/coronavirus for further updates.

Mount Nittany Health announces plans for future COVID-19 vaccination clinics

Mount Nittany Health is in the final stages of vaccinating more than 3,400 health care personnel in Centre County through the remainder of January.  Completing this effort will fully utilize the vaccine supply that the health system has been currently allocated by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Moving into February, vaccination efforts will be focused on the newly expanded Department of Health Category 1A eligible community members.  This now includes individuals age 65 and older and those age 16-64 who have high-risk conditions or who are immunocompromised (weakened immune system).  Mount Nittany Health is currently awaiting shipment of additional vaccine to begin this effort.

Starting January 29, the health system plans to open an online self-scheduling system for Covid-19 vaccinations.  Pending the availability of vaccine, additional appointments will be opened starting the first week of February and will be offered to anyone who meets the Category 1A criteria.  Eligible individuals should visit mountnittany.org/coronavirus for available times and to schedule their appointment.

Given the level of community interest, appointment demand is expected to be high.  Information will be updated on Mountnittany.org/coronavirus as soon as it is available.  Please check the site regularly for the most current information as this will be more effective than inquiring by phone.  We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to make vaccinations available as soon as possible.

Covid 19 Vaccine Update (December 31)

As has been reported, we have received two allotments of vaccine through the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and are administering these vaccines based on guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and DOH. Based on our current supply, our plan is to continue offering vaccinations to Centre County healthcare related workers the week of January 11. Details will be posted at mountnittany.org/coronavirus as soon as they are finalized.  Please continue to check there for further updates. Vaccinations will be provided as long as our supply permits.  We will continue to update our plans as we receive information on future shipments.

Based on CDC and DOH guidance and our current supply, vaccinations will be offered to the following groups.

  • Physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physical therapists, optometrists and counselors in Centre County, along with support staff working these offices

  • Emergency service personnel (EMS) within Centre County

  • School nurses or related professionals providing clinical care in schools within Centre County

  • Staff/providers who provide clinical care in correctional facilities within Centre County

  • Clinical staff working in dialysis centers in Centre County

 

Please remember to check mountnittany.org/coronavirus for further updates.

Mount Nittany Health expanding COVID-19 vaccinations (December 29)

Mount Nittany Health announced today that it has received a shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, enabling it to expand its vaccination program.

More than 1,200 employees and medical staff of the health system have already been vaccinated. As Mount Nittany Health continues to vaccinate additional employees and medical staff, it will begin the process of vaccinating community providers based on vaccine availability and current CDC guidelines. Eligible vaccine recipients are being contacted directly and will include healthcare workers from Centre Volunteers in Medicine, Centre County emergency medical personnel, local physicians, dentists and school nurses. In the future, eligibility will be expanded based on CDC and DOH guidelines and availability will be based on vaccine quantities shipped to the health system.

Mount Nittany Health’s COVID-19 vaccine task force, headed by Chief Medical Officer, Nirmal Joshi, MD, FACP, is overseeing the vaccination process. “We are still in a phase where supply is extremely limited, and we can only offer vaccinations to healthcare workers,” Dr. Joshi said. “We are pleased to be able to take this additional step in vaccinating another tier of frontline workers with the vaccine.”

“We have received no guidance yet on when we can expect a sufficient quantity of vaccine to be able to vaccinate others in the community, but we will alert the public through the media, social media and other communications channels as soon as we have that information. We have seen no significant side effects among those who have been vaccinated and encourage as much participation as possible as supplies increase and additional members of the public become eligible for the vaccine.”

“In the meantime,” Dr. Joshi continued, “we urge the public to follow the recommendations we and other public health authorities have been making: wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and avoid gatherings outside your immediate household. The number of COVID hospitalizations at Mount Nittany Medical Center has reached a new high of 66 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 today. We urge everyone need to be responsible and do what they can to stay safe until the vaccine is more widely available.”

Mount Nittany Health successfully administers more than 1,223 COVID-19 vaccines (December 24)

Over the course of five days, Mount Nittany Health immunized a total of 1,223 of its providers and staff against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

The health system received a shipment of approximately 195 vials of the vaccine last Wednesday, December 16, and soon discovered that – like many hospitals throughout the country – a number of bonus doses were included in the shipment, allowing them to get more than 1,000 doses of the vaccine.

“We were extremely pleased to discover the extra doses,” shared Chief Medical Officer, Nirmal Joshi, MD, FACP. “To be able to offer the vaccine to several hundred additional staff members was a wonderful surprise.”

Vaccines were given during special clinic hours at Mount Nittany Medical Center. Originally scheduled for three days beginning Friday, December 18, extra doses of the vaccine allowed the health system to extend vaccinations through Wednesday, December 23.

Of the 1,223 employees that were immunized, very few minor symptoms – such as arm soreness – were reported.

Those vaccinated will receive their second dose of the COVID-19 inoculation approximately three weeks after their first injection, as indicated by Pfizer.

Mount Nittany Health reminds community members that it is essential to continue to consistently follow COVID-19 safety protocols – including masking, social distancing and frequent hand washing – until vaccines are made widely available.

Mount Nittany Health administers its first COVID-19 vaccinations to Medical Center staff (December 18)

Mount Nittany Health administered its first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccinations to Mount Nittany Medical Center direct care staff last Friday, December 18.

The health system received approximately 1,000 vaccines that were administered to hospital employees over the course of several days.

Mount Nittany Health's Chief Medical Officer Nirmal Joshi, MD, FACP, lead the effort and said that while receiving the vaccination is voluntary for Mount Nittany Health providers and staff, it is strongly encouraged. Feedback from a staff survey suggested that most of the staff intend to be vaccinated.

Those vaccinated will receive their second dose of the COVID-19 inoculation 21 days after their first injection, as indicated by Pfizer.

Emily Shearer, RN, who works in critical care services at the Medical Center was one of the first healthcare providers to be immunized. “I cannot express how excited I am that the vaccine has been developed and that we are one step closer to ending this pandemic,” she said. “I work with COVID positive inpatients on almost every one of my shifts at the hospital, so I am beyond thankful to have received this additional line of protection not only for me, but also for my family that I go home to every day.”

“This is a milestone day and we’re all incredibly hopeful that this is the beginning of the end of this pandemic,” said Chief Medical Officer, Nirmal Joshi, MD, FACP. “We’ve all waited so long for this glimmer of hope, and we couldn’t ask for a better gift this holiday season.”

Dr. Joshi added that the health system is strongly encouraged by FDA clinical trial findings that the vaccine offers nearly full protection against virus symptoms after receiving both doses. 

“We’re excited that the vaccine is here,” he said. “But this isn’t over yet. It’s going to be a while before everyone can be vaccinated, so please keep wearing a mask, washing your hands frequently and social distancing.”

Added Shearer, “Please, for all of us working the front lines during this time, until we are able to vaccinate more people and build an immunity to this virus, we need you to be responsible and continue to practice known COVID safety measures.”

Mount Nittany Health plans to immunize direct care staff and providers with COVID-19 vaccine this week (December 16)

Mount Nittany Health received a shipment of the newly-approved COVID-19 vaccine today, December 16, and plans to begin immunizing its direct care staff and providers this week, according to the health system’s COVID-19 vaccine response task force.

 

Mount Nittany Health's Chief Medical Officer Nirmal Joshi, MD, FACP, is leading the effort and says that while receiving the vaccination is voluntary for Mount Nittany Health providers and staff, it is strongly encouraged. Feedback from a staff survey suggests most of the staff intend to be vaccinated.

 

“We are certainly encouraged by FDA clinical trial findings that the Pfizer vaccine offers nearly full protection against virus symptoms after receiving both doses,” said Dr. Joshi. “Its overall effectiveness also seems to span across all age groups, genders, racial and ethnic minorities and those with underlying conditions like diabetes and obesity. It’s very promising, and a glimmer of hope during this pandemic.”

 

Those vaccinated will receive their second dose of the COVID-19 inoculation 21 days after their first injection, as indicated by Pfizer.

Dr. Joshi also reminds the community that even with the hope that the vaccine provides, it will be some time before it is available to the greater community, and even so, we must not just rely on a vaccine to mitigate spread of the virus.

 

"The most effective safety measures we can take against COVID-19 continues to be wearing a mask, frequent hand washing and maintaining social distance," he says. "These measures are especially important during the holidays as we continue to see a rise in COVID cases and subsequent hospitalizations." 

Mount Nittany Health COVID-19 vaccine distribution
Mount Nittany Health is committed to administering the COVID-19 vaccine to our community as quickly as possible. Due to vaccine availability this will take some time, so we ask for your patience. 

Total doses administered and future doses scheduled as of February 8, 2021

Total doses administered

7,200

Future doses scheduled

6,700

Mount Nittany Health COVID-19 vaccine distribution
Mount Nittany Health is committed to administering the COVID-19 vaccine to our community as quickly as possible. Due to vaccine availability this will take some time, so we ask for your patience. 

Total doses administered

7,200

Future doses scheduled

6,700

Total doses administered and future doses scheduled as of February 8, 2021

Frequently asked questions

Where can I learn more about the vaccine and the distribution process?


COVID-19 vaccine questions can be directed to the PA Health Hotline at 1.877.724.3258 and up-to-date vaccine information is also available at mountnittany.org/coronavirus.




What is the timeline of vaccine distribution?


The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) does not have a timetable of how long it will take to distribute COVID-19 vaccines across the commonwealth since there is only a limited supply of vaccine available at this time. Please note, Philadelphia County has received their own Federal allocation of vaccine. The timeline for vaccinating individuals in Philadelphia County may differ from the timeline for the rest of Pennsylvania.

  1. The DOH will use the CDC's VaccineFinder portal to show where people can be vaccinated once the vaccine is available to a larger audience.
  1. To stay up to do date on the vaccine distribution process at Mount Nittany Health, please visit mountnittany.org/coronavirus regularly.




How do I schedule a COVID-19 Vaccine if I qualify as part of the State’s Phase 1A Group?


We are currently using an online self-scheduling tool to allow individuals to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. We cannot accept phone calls to schedule COVID-19 vaccinations at this time.

We are only opening appointments if and when we can confirm supplies ensuring that no scheduled patient is left without a vaccine.

There is high demand for vaccines, and appointments fill quickly. Every Tuesday at noon, we will provide an update on COVID-19 vaccine availability and appointments at mountnittany.org/coronavirus.




What are the phases of vaccine distribution?


The COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed to Pennsylvanians in a phased approach. The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), as the state's public health agency, is the lead in terms of moving from one vaccination phase to the next. As information is finalized on additional vaccine allotments and the status of the DOH phased rollout process, we will keep the communities we serve informed. To learn more about the DOH vaccine distribution plan and the phased approach, visit health.pa.gov.




Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?


The vaccine is another tool that is available to help stop the pandemic. The vaccine will arm your immune system if you acquire the virus, while other measures such as wearing a mask, social distancing and washing hands frequently are still needed to keep from spreading the virus to others.




How many doses of the vaccine do I need?


The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which has received an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA, is a two-dose vaccine. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has also received an EUA from the FDA and is a two-dose vaccine. For both the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the first dose of the vaccine starts building protection, but the second dose is needed to get the most protection the vaccine has to offer.




What is RNA and how does the vaccine work?


RNA is a type of nucleic acid that SARS-CoV-2 uses to carry its genetic information. It is a blueprint to produce proteins that form the virus particle. Both of the FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines contain a small piece of SARS-CoV-2 RNA encased in a lipid particle. When injected into the body, these particles are taken up by immune cells, the viral spike protein is produced, and our immune system produces antibodies and other immune cells that specifically recognize it. This process mirrors exactly what happens when the virus infects our body, but the vaccine cannot cause infection as it does not contain the actual virus. A second booster vaccine makes the immune response even stronger. If we are exposed to the virus, our immune system now has all the tools needed to rapidly clear it.




Are there any side effects to the COVID-19 vaccine?


The most common side effect is a sore arm for 24 to 48 hours. Some people can develop a fever, swollen lymph nodes, generalized muscle pain or fatigue. These side effects are generally mild and not unexpected. They indicate that our immune system is activated.




Is the vaccine safe?


Vaccines are safe and effective and the best way to protect you and those around you from serious illnesses. Severe allergic reactions are rare:

  • Pfizer first dose: 11.1 cases per one million doses reported severe allergic (anaphylactic) reactions (CDC).
  • Moderna first dose: 1 of more than 224,000 reported severe allergic (anaphylactic) reactions (CDC).
  • CDC plans to release more information as it becomes available.




Can kids get the vaccine?


More research is needed to make sure any COVID-19 vaccine will be safe and effective for infants, kids and teens.

  • The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is not yet approved for children under the age of 16.
  • The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is not yet approved for children under the age of 18.




What is herd immunity and how does it relate to the vaccine?


Herd immunity refers to how many people in the population need to be immune to the virus to prevent it from being spread. The more contagious the virus, the more people need to have immunity to prevent transmission. For COVID-19, 50 to 70 percent of the population needs to have immunity to achieve herd immunity. This number may change as we learn more about the virus, and it may be higher if more contagious strains emerge, such as the U.K. variant, now beginning to appear throughout the United States.

Some people have proposed letting COVID-19 run its course to achieve herd immunity, but this could result in more than two million deaths in the U.S. The only safe and effective way to achieve herd immunity is through vaccination, and we need to vaccinate the majority of the population to be successful.




I have a confirmed COVID-19 vaccine appointment. What do I need to bring with me?


You will need to bring proof of Pennsylvania residency or employment such as:

  • Pennsylvania driver’s license or Pennsylvania identification card

  • Utility bill with your name and address

  • Employer identification or badge

  • Business card

A signed vaccination agreement form.

A mask. You are required to wear a mask to the vaccine site. If you will not wear a mask, then you will not be permitted to enter the site and will lose your vaccine appointment slot.

Children and other visitors are not allowed. One caregiver may accompany you if needed.

Please report your vaccine clinic location and plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment time to check in and turn in your vaccination agreement form and proof of residency or employment in Pennsylvania.

Additionally be prepared to stay for 15 minutes after vaccination for observation.




How can I confirm that I successfully scheduled a COVID-19 vaccine appointment?


If you have successfully secured an appointment, a confirmation page will appear confirming your appointment.

You will receive a confirmation email from Noreply@inquicker.com.

Please be sure to look in your spam or junk folders if you do not see a confirmation email in your inbox.




How does Mount Nittany Health’s self-scheduling tool work?


When Mount Nittany Health has COVID-19 vaccine appointments available, a schedule now button will be visible at mountnittany.org/coronavirus.

There is high demand for vaccines, and appointments fill quickly. Due to high demand, the system may take a moment to load the online self-scheduling tool.

Be sure to have the last four digits of your social security number, email, and pen and paper available before you start the online process.

  1. You will select your preferred date and time from the options available. It does not matter which vaccinator number you choose for your appointment (ex.: Vaccinator 1, Vaccinator 2, etc.).

  2. Read the attestation page. Select Yes or No.

  3. Read and answer a brief history of any COVID-19 infections, testing, or vaccinations. Select Yes or No.

  4. Read vaccine schedule notification. Select Yes or No.

  5. Review confirmation information. Select Yes or No.

  6. You will need to provide your:

    • First and Last name

    • Date of birth

    • Last four digits of Social Security Number

    • Birth sex

    • Race

    • Ethnicity

    • Phone number

    • Address

    • Email address - please take special care to key in your email address correctly to ensure that you receive the confirmation email.

  7. At the end of the registration process, you will receive a screen that shows your confirmed date, time, and location. Please write this information down or print off the confirmation page. You will also receive a confirmation email from Noreply@inquicker.com.

If you do not get an appointment during this time, please check back next week.

Every Tuesday at noon, we will provide an update on COVID-19 vaccine availability and appointments at mountnittany.org/coronavirus.




How long will it take to distribute the vaccine?


We’ll administer the COVID-19 vaccine as quickly as we can. We are only opening appointments if and when we can confirm vaccine supplies will be made available to us from the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH).


We are administering the vaccine as outlined in the DOH phased plans.




Can I schedule my appointment for the same appointment time as my spouse/partner/friend?


We are unable to schedule individuals together for COVID-19 vaccine appointments.




Why don’t you make more vaccine appointments available?


Mount Nittany Health will open COVID-19 vaccine appointments as the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) provides us with vaccine.

We are only opening appointments if and when we can confirm vaccine supplies will be made available to us from the DOH. This ensures that no scheduled patient is left without a vaccine.

Demand for the vaccine exceeds the available supply.

Every Tuesday at noon, we will provide an update on COVID-19 vaccine availability and appointments at mountnittany.org/coronavirus.




How do I get my second dose of the vaccine?


When you schedule your first appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine using the online self-scheduling tool, you will automatically be assigned a second dose appointment time 21 days after your first dose.

This time cannot be changed.

You will receive a second appointment reminder card at your appointment for your first COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

It is important that you receive both doses of the vaccine for it to be most effective. Please keep your vaccine appointment.

Updated recommendation from the CDC regarding the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine

The CDC has updated their recommendation regarding receiving the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. If you have experienced an immediate allergic reaction within four hours of receiving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC recommends not to receive the second dose. Immediate allergic reactions include the following:

  • Feeling of impending doom

  • Skin symptoms present in ~90% of people with anaphylaxis

    • Severe itching of skin

    • Hives

    • Flushing

    • Swelling in the face

  • Confusion or disorientation

  • Severe dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Profound weakness

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Hypoxia

  • Severe hypotension

  • Tachycardia

  • Nausea or vomiting accompanied by abdominal cramps and diarrhea

Based on the CDC’s recommendation, Mount Nittany Health will not be able to give a second dose to any patient who experienced an immediate allergic reaction within four hours of receiving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Please contact your doctor immediately if you experience any moderate or severe reactions or if you have any concerns.

Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System




When can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?


The vaccine will be available in a phased approach. Due to the limited supply of vaccine, the first phase is expected to take several months, however, all Pennsylvanians whom wish to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will be vaccinated as we continue to rollout this phased vaccine distribution. Not everyone will be able to be vaccinated right away. It is understandable how concerning this would be for people, especially for those who are at increased risk for serious illness from this virus and for their loved ones. Currently, we are in Phase 1A of Pennsylvania's vaccine rollout. The general public can be vaccinated in Phase 2 of the Department of Pennsylvania's vaccine distribution plan. There is no specific timeline as to when this will be.​The DOH will use the CDC's VaccineFinder portal to show where people can be vaccinated once the vaccine is available to a larger audience. To stay up to do date on the vaccine distribution process at Mount Nittany Health, please visit mountnittany.org/coronavirus regularly.