The first doses of vaccine are going to frontline health care workers and the residents and staff of long-term care facilities. These groups are considered among the highest-risk for COVID-19.
As more doses of vaccine become available, the next phases of distribution will include essential workers and individuals with underlying medical conditions that could cause COVID-19 complications. Vaccine assess will expand to the general population in the coming months.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorization (EUA) to two COVID-19 vaccines: one developed by Pfizer and BioNTech and another produced by Moderna. The distribution of both vaccines began in the United States in December.
Other potential COVID-19 vaccine candidates are in development and could seek authorization later.
First doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine began arriving at UPMC hospitals on December 14, and we immediately offering vaccination to our health care workers. First doses of the Moderna vaccine began arriving to our long-term care facilities on Dec. 20, and we immediately began offering vaccination to residents and staff.
Please do not contact doctor at this time regarding COVID-19 vaccine availability. Vaccines are not yet available to the public.
UPMC will share updates as they become available. Visit UPMC.com/COVIDVaccine to subscribe for information.
There is no waiting list for COVID-19 vaccines. A vaccine distribution strategy is in place and vaccines will be available to the general population in the coming months
At this time, the vaccine is not available to the general public. Supplies of the vaccine are limited, and distribution is happening in phases.
We are working with federal and state officials to coordinate distribution of the vaccine. At this time, UPMC's hospitals, doctors' offices, and clinics cannot provide individuals with vaccinations.
We look forward to providing vaccines to people in our communities as they become available. We will provide more information as we receive it.
We do not expect that there will be a cost for the COVID-19 vaccine.
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.
According to data reported by Pfizer and Moderna, both vaccines are more than 94% effective in preventing COVID-19. The effectiveness of the vaccine will continue to be monitored as distribution continues.
There have been no significant safety issues reported from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine clinical trials. The safety of the vaccine will continue to be monitored as distribution becomes more widespread.
The most commonly reported side effects to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines in clinical trials were soreness, fatigue, and muscle ache. These are common for many vaccines because a vaccine triggers an immune response.
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. Talk to your doctor if you have a concern about allergies.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has recommended that pregnant and lactating women should be able to get the vaccine if they fall into one of the distribution groups. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant and are wondering if you should get the vaccine.
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.
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.