The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorization (EUA) to two COVID-19 vaccines in December: one developed by Pfizer and BioNTech and another by Moderna. The distribution of both vaccines began in the United States in December.
A third vaccine, developed by Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (J&J), received EUA in February, with nationwide distribution in March.
Other potential COVID-19 vaccine candidates are in development and could seek authorization later.
UPMC has doses of the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines. Our goal is to vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.
At this time, the COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory for UPMC employees. We are excited about the reports of the vaccine's effectiveness and safety.
UPMC is offering vaccinations to frontline health care personnel who are not affiliated with a hospital or health system. To request vaccination for your organization, practice, or group, please review all information and instructions found at UPMC.com/HealthCareVaccine.
UPMC is distributing the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines.
Very few physician offices have COVID-19 vaccines onsite, but you can always reach out to your doctor to discuss your questions about the vaccine. The best way to register for your COVID-19 vaccine is by visiting Vaccine.UPMC.com and scheduling your appointment online.
If you have limited access to online services, or you need assistance scheduling your appointment, you can call 844-UPMCVAC (844-876-2822) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., seven days a week.
UPMC locations in Pennsylvania
As of May 10, 2021, all Pennsylvanians 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. If you are eligible for vaccination, we encourage you to schedule a vaccine appointment with UPMC by visiting Vaccine.UPMC.com.
To schedule an appointment for children 12-17, select a Pfizer clinic when using the online scheduling system. You also can call 844-UPMCVAC (844-876-2822) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., seven days a week, and request a Pfizer clinic for those under 18.
For more information on who is eligible, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health website.
Under guidance from New York state officials, we are vaccinating people age 12 and older. For more information, visit New York State Department of Health website.
If you are a New York resident, you can call 833-697-4829 or visit ny.gov/vaccine for information about vaccine distribution. If you live in Chautauqua County, you can call 866-604-6789 or visit chqgov.com for vaccine distribution information in your county.
UPMC Western Maryland
Under guidance from Maryland state officials, we are vaccinating people age 12 and older. All Maryland residents age 12 and older also can register for a COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination event. Children under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian with them to sign a consent form.
For more information about who is eligible and how to schedule an appointment, visit the Maryland Department of Health website. If you are a Maryland resident and have questions about the vaccine, call 855-MD-GoVAX (855-634-6829), or visit covidlink.maryland.gov.
If you would like to receive a COVID-19 vaccine from UPMC, you can schedule an appointment.
If you have limited access to online services or technology like a computer or smartphone, or if you need help in registering, you can call 844-UPMCVAC (844-876-2822) between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. An operator will register you over the phone, and we will contact you about scheduling an appointment when the vaccine is available. Please note: We expect high call volume on this line. To keep this option open to those who need it most, please use the online registration process if you can.
Once you register for a COVID-19 vaccine from UPMC, you are on the list. If you provided an email address, you will receive a confirmation email. We may contact you with emails, text messages, or phone calls, depending upon the contact information you provided. Phone calls will be from UPMC call specialists. Emails and text messages will come from UPMC’s Certify Care system. You will see the name "Certify" within the email address and text messages. We will ask for important health information to prepare for your vaccine. This may include questions about allergies and history of COVID-19 illness and treatment.
If you are having trouble completing your important health information or scheduling your vaccine appointment using UPMC’s Certify Care system, or have questions about using the system, please call 1-833-299-4360.
The COVID-19 vaccine is free. After being vaccinated you may receive a notice electronically or in the mail from your insurance company, called an Explanation of Benefits (EOB), that a charge to give the vaccine was submitted. It is not a bill, and it is not a charge for the vaccine. The government allows your vaccine provider to charge your insurance for the cost of giving/administering the vaccine. For those who do not have insurance, or if insurance does not cover the fee, you will not be asked to pay, or be responsible for, the fee. If you receive an EOB and would like more information, please contact your health insurer.
We strongly encourage everyone in our communities to take other COVID-19 prevention actions, including:
These activities can help to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and save lives.
Yes. UPMC is now offering second dose vaccine appointments, regardless of where you received your first dose. However, we encourage you to get your second dose from the same provider when it is possible and practical for you to do so. Please visit Vaccine.UPMC.com, and follow the process for scheduling a vaccine online or by phone. In the online system, there will be an option for you to indicate that this is your second dose, and you should have your vaccine card handy so you can provide important details about your first dose. If you are scheduling by phone, please indicate that this is your second dose and that UPMC did not provide your first dose.
The recommended date to get the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine is 21 days after your first dose. The recommended date to get the second dose of the Moderna vaccine is 28 days after your first dose. You should not get your second dose before that time.
The CDC says you should get your second dose as closely as possible to the recommended date. However, if it is not possible to get the second dose on that exact date, you still can receive it later. According to the CDC, you can receive the second dose of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines up to six weeks after your first dose.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you can get your COVID-19 vaccine without regard to timing of other vaccines.
You no longer have to wait 14 days between getting a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and any other vaccine.
You should not get the vaccine if you are currently infected with COVID-19, if you have been exposed to COVID-19, or if you have another respiratory illness. If you have symptomatic or asymptomatic COVID-19 or have been exposed to COVID-19, you should not get vaccinated until you meet the CDC’s guidelines for ending isolation. Talk to your provider about rescheduling.
If you have another respiratory illness, talk to your provider about when it is safe for you to receive the vaccine.
According to data from clinical trials and since distribution began, all authorized vaccines are highly effective in preventing COVID-19. They are especially effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. The authorized vaccines exceed the Food and Drug Administration’s efficacy benchmark for emergency use authorization.
Officials will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the vaccines as distribution continues.
The FDA reviewed the safety and efficacy of these vaccines before issuing an emergency use authorization, which authorizes their use in the U.S.
Even after the EUA, these vaccines are undergoing additional studies to confirm the vaccines' safety, effectiveness, or possible side effects.
The most common side effects to the vaccines include pain and swelling where you received the shot, fever, chills, fatigue, and headache. These are common for many vaccines because a vaccine triggers an immune response. The side effects should go away within a few days.
There have been some reports of isolated allergic reactions to the vaccine, which scientists are investigating. Allergic reactions to vaccines are not common and are typically mild.
If you have a history of anaphylaxis or severe allergic reaction to a vaccine, vaccine component, or injectable medication, you should consult your primary care physician or allergist before receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
If you have allergies that don’t relate to vaccines or injectable medicines, the CDC recommends you get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that pregnant and lactating women should be able to get the vaccine if they choose to. ACOG also recommends the vaccine for women who are planning or trying to get pregnant. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant and are wondering if you should get the vaccine.
Like any vaccine, getting the COVID-19 vaccine is your personal choice. You can choose to get it or not when it becomes available to you. However, getting the vaccine can protect both you and the people around you, including our most vulnerable individuals. The vaccine is a crucial step to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.
On May 10, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12-15. The vaccine was already authorized for people 16 and older.
Data show the Pfizer vaccine is safe for children 12 and older and effective in preventing COVID-19. For more information, see the FDA report.
At this time, no children under the age of 12 are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine clinical trials in children younger than 12 are ongoing.
The following people should not get the vaccine:
People with a history of certain health conditions should talk to their doctor before scheduling their COVID-19 vaccine appointment.
If you participated in a COVID-19 vaccine trial, contact the study coordinator, who can tell you if you have received a vaccine or placebo. If you received a placebo (not active vaccine), the study coordinators will let you know the next steps to get vaccinated. The trial may offer the vaccine as part of the study or recommend you receive the vaccine at UPMC.