Mount Nittany Health COVID-19 Vaccine Update
 

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.




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.

Mount Nittany Health currently only offers vaccine appointments at Mount Nittany Medical Center. Please 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.ther visitors are not allowed.




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.




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.




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.




What is the COVID-19 Vaccine waitlist?


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.

Demand for the vaccine remains high for Phase 1 eligible individuals. To reach as many individuals as possible who are eligible and interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, Mount Nittany Health has created an online Waitlist.

Anyone eligible to receive the vaccine can sign-up for the waitlist at any time that is convenient for them by visiting mountnittany.org/coronavirus.

If you cannot sign up for the COVID Vaccine Waitlist online, eligible community members can call our COVID vaccine phone line at 814.234.7606, Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm, where someone will help add you to the waitlist.

The best way for eligible community members to sign up for the COVID Vaccine Waitlist is online at mountnittany.org/coronavirus, if you are able.

Individuals do not need to be Mount Nittany Health patients to sign up for the waitlist.




How can I confirm that I am successfully registered for the COVID-19 vaccine waitlist?


If you have successfully registered for the waitlist, you will see a confirmation page.

In addition, within minutes, you will receive a confirmation email from Mount Nittany Health and a text message to the mobile number provided. A mobile number is not required to sign-up for the waitlist.

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




What information will I need to provide to secure a place on the COVID-19 Vaccine waitlist?


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

At the end of the waitlist registration process, you will see a screen that indicates you have successfully registered for the COVID-19 vaccine waitlist.




I successfully registered for the COVID-19 vaccine waitlist. How will I know that I have a vaccine appointment?


When vaccine supply is available, Mount Nittany Health will schedule vaccine appointments from the waitlist.

When it is your turn, we will call, email and text you to notify you of the date and time for your COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

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




I don't have a computer. How can I register for the Mount Nittany Health COVID-19 Vaccine Waitlist?


If you're unable to sign up for the Mount Nittany Health COVID-19 Waitlist at mountnittany.org/coronavirus, you can call our COVID vaccine phone line 814.234.7606, Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm, where someone will help add you to the waitlist. Due to high call volumes, you may experience longer than normal wait times or a busy signal.

The fastest way for eligible community members to sign up for the COVID Vaccine Waitlist is online at mountnittany.org/coronavirus.