COVID-19 Vaccines at Penn Highlands

COVID-19 Vaccine Weekly Update: As of Tuesday, February 23, 2021, we have administered approximately 30,000 doses largely to recipients in the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s phase 1A. We are currently providing vaccines to any individuals in 1A including anyone 65 and older and individuals aged 16-64 with a medical condition. Penn Highlands primary care physicians continue to call patients in this phase for scheduling, or individuals may call the Penn Highlands COVID Vaccine Information Line at 814-503-4735 to be placed on a waiting list. Vaccine remains at limited supply. 

Vaccine Sign-up Now Available

Vaccine Sign-up

Please complete the sign-up form and individuals who are eligible under the Pennsylvania Department of Health Phase 1A guidelines will be called by their primary care physician or by a representative from the PHH COVID Vaccine Information line. 

Currently it is taking approximately three weeks to get vaccinated once you get on this waitlist.  Penn Highlands is only vaccinating people who reside in the Penn Highlands primary service area.

If you need assistance, please call the PHH Vaccine Information Line at 814-503-4735 Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Please note, when we contact you to schedule your vaccine, we will NOT be asking for payment information nor social security number.

Who Is Currently Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine from Penn Highlands Healthcare?

Phase 1A – Penn Highlands Healthcare is currently offering vaccinations to those individuals in the Pennsylvania Department of Health Phase 1A who are 65 years and older and those 16-64 with a chronic healthcare condition from the Penn Highlands primary service area.

16-64 with a chronic healthcare conditions includes:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD
  • Down Syndrome
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant or from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
  • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
  • Severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Smoking
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Learn more about the additional Pennsylvania Department of Health vaccine phases

Seeking Volunteers for COVID Vaccination Clinics

Penn Highlands Healthcare is seeking volunteers to assist with COVID vaccination clinics, which will be scheduled throughout the region in the coming days and weeks. Both clinical and non-clinical volunteers are needed. Job duties include administering the vaccine, check-in, registration, scheduling second doses, data entry and traffic control.

If you are able to volunteer and have not yet received the COVID vaccine, you will be offered a vaccine at the clinic.

Anyone interested in volunteering should call Penn Highlands Healthcare at 814-375-3901 or email [email protected]

What Do I Need to Bring with Me to My Appointment?

  • Wear a face mask to your appointment
  • Bring ID, ie. drivers license or other government issued
  • Download, print, complete and bring the COVID-19 Vaccine Registration Form to your appointment
  • Health Insurance Card
  • Calendar to schedule second dose

What Will Happen at My Vaccine Appointment?

You will receive a vaccine card that tells you which COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it and where you received it. You will also get a fact sheet that tells you more about the specific COVID-19 vaccine you got. Each COVID-19 vaccine has its own fact sheet to help you understand the risks and benefits of receiving the vaccine.

You will be observed on-site for 15 minutes after you receive the vaccine. During this time, we’ll help you schedule your appointment for your second dose. We’ll also give you information about v-safe, a free smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination.  Learn more about v-safe.

What Do I do if I Need to Cancel My Appointment?

Please call 814-503-4735 and select the vaccine prompt.  A COVID-19 Vaccine Representative can help you from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

COVID-19 Vaccine Facts

COVID-19 Vaccine fact sheets:  Learn more about the types of COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get vaccinated? 

Due to the limited supply of vaccine and other resources, we are currently vaccinating anyone 75 years and older AND anyone who is a healthcare worker. (i.e. Healthcare workers include: nurses, non-PHH physician offices, pharmacists, home health employees, optometrists, dentists, their office staff, etc.) 

Once we complete these two groups, we will begin to vaccinate people who are 65 years and older.  The PHH Primary Care Offices will be contacting their patients who are 65 and older when we move to this age group. 
The next group after that, we will be vaccinating individuals who are 16 to 64 years old with a chronic health condition.  Please watch for additional information on how to get scheduled. 

Do I have to get vaccinated twice?

Yes.  Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two vaccinations.  You must get the same brand of vaccine as your first dose. 

  • If you receive the Pfizer vaccine, you will need to be vaccinated again 17-21 days after the first. 
  • If you receive the Moderna vaccine, you will need to be vaccinated again 28-30 days after the first. 
  • Your second vaccination will be scheduled during the first dose vaccination. 

What should I bring with me when I’m getting vaccinated? 

Your government issued photo ID (i.e. driver license).   Medicare Card/Insurance Card.   Mask.  
Please do not show up earlier than 15 minutes for your vaccine appointment. 

Is there a cost to be vaccinated? 

The federal government is providing the vaccine at no cost, but there is a fee for the vaccination.  Medicare, Medicaid or commercial insurance will cover the expense.  Please bring your photo ID, Medicare / Insurance Card with you when being vaccinated. 

What is the cash price to be vaccinated? 

The vaccine is free, however there is a fee to be vaccinated. We accept Medicare, Medicaid and Commercial Insurances.  If you don’t have insurance, there is no fee, but you are required to bring your government issued ID to the vaccine.   

Do I need a doctor’s order to get vaccinated? 

No.  However, if you have underlying health conditions, you may want to contact your physician to discuss the risk and benefits of getting vaccinated.  

I am not from a Penn Highlands service area, can I get vaccinated by Penn Highlands? 

No.  Per the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Penn Highlands should be vaccinating people from our service area.  

Do I need to have a Penn Highlands primary care doctor to get vaccinated?  

No, however, you do need to live in the Penn Highlands service area.  
If you have a physician who is not affiliated with Penn Highlands (i.e. UPMC, Geisinger, etc.) you should contact your doctor first to try to get scheduled through them.  If they are not able to get you vaccinated, please call 814-503-4735 and we will get you scheduled or on a list as long as there is vaccine and you meet the Phase 1A requirements.  Currently, PHH is vaccinating people who are 75 years old or older. 

Which vaccine is Penn Highlands providing? 

  • Pfizer – PH DuBois, PH Elk and PH Huntingdon
  • Moderna – PH Brookville, PH Clearfield and PH Tyrone

I would recommend asking which vaccine you are receiving once you arrive at the vaccine clinic to confirm.

Do you have a large supply of vaccine? 

No. Vaccine is in limited supply and is shipped weekly by the PA Department of Health based on availability.  

How long will it take to complete vaccinations? 

This will vary based on the availability of vaccine.  However, it is anticipated that the vaccination process will take many months going from one phase to the next.  

Can getting a COVID-19 vaccine give you COVID-19? 

No. The COVID-19 vaccines currently being developed in the U.S. don't use the live virus that causes COVID-19.

Keep in mind that it will take a few weeks for your body to build immunity after getting a COVID-19 vaccination. As a result, it's possible that you could become infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or after being vaccinated.

What are the possible side effects of a COVID-19 vaccine?

A COVID-19 vaccine may cause mild side effects after the first or second dose, including:

  • Pain, redness or swelling where the shot was given
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Joint pain

You will be asked to wait 15 minutes after getting your COVID-19 vaccine to see if you have an immediate reaction. 

Most side effects happen within the first three days after vaccination and typically last only one to two days. The COVID-19 vaccine may cause side effects similar to signs and symptoms of COVID-19. If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 and you develop symptoms more than three days after getting vaccinated or the symptoms last more than two days, self-isolate and get tested

How are the COVID-19 vaccines being distributed?

Due to limited vaccine availability, not everyone will be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine right away.
The federal and state government agencies (DOH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices ((ACIP)) have recommended that in the first phase of vaccination, vaccines should be given to health care personnel (EMS, dentist offices, pharmacists, etc.) and adult residents of long-term care facilities.

Penn Highlands is currently providing vaccine for people 75 years and older and any remaining healthcare workers.  We will move to 65 and older once the 75 plus age group is completed.  This could take several months before we are able to move from one group to the next due to the limited supply of vaccine. 

What populations of people are at highest risk? 

Data shows that people at the highest risk are the elderly.  PHH is vaccinating people 75 plus and then proceeding to people who are 65 years and older. 

Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I have a history of allergic reactions?

If you’ve had allergic reactions to other vaccines or injectable medications, ask your doctor if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Can a pregnant (or breastfeeding) women get the COVID-19 vaccine?

We recommend that you talk to your health care provider about the risks and benefits of being vaccinated.

Is there anyone who should not get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Children under the age 16 should not get vaccinated. There is no COVID-19 vaccine yet for children under age 16.

COVID-19 vaccination might not be recommended for people with certain health conditions.  Talk to your doctor if you have questions about getting the vaccine.

Is the vaccine safe? 

If you have questions about the vaccine, you should talk to your doctor. 

I don’t have a doctor, how can I get one? 

To find a doctor, you can visit Penn Highland’s website at www.phhealthcare.org/findadoc or you can call 814-375-4636 and they can assist you in finding a primary care physician. 

Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine even if I've already had COVID-19?

If it was more than 90 days since having COVID-19, the CDC recommends that you receive the vaccine.  However, if you have questions about the vaccine, you should contact your primary care physician. 
If it is has been less than 90 days, we recommend that you contact your physician to discuss. 

Do I have to continue to wear a mask, social distance, avoid large groups, etc. after I get vaccinated? 

Yes.  Even after getting the vaccination, someone can still get COVID-19 and can also spread the virus. 

How long before you move to the different age groups (or cohorts) to be vaccinated?  

This is going to vary based on the vaccine available.  Currently vaccine is limited so it could be multiple months to move from one group to the next. 

Read additional FAQs from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.