COVID-19 Vaccine Update: Booster Shots and the Pfizer FDA Approval
We are thrilled that the FDA has fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which many of you received. The approval cements what we have seen in the data for months: The vaccine is safe. It decreases the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. It is saving lives.
The FDA has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for people who have weakened or compromised immune systems. Chester County Hospital is scheduling vaccination appointments for patients whose immune systems are severely weakened. This includes people who have received an organ transplant and are taking therapies that suppress their immune systems, and individuals who are in active treatment, such as chemotherapy or a daily radiation therapy for cancer. These individuals have a harder time fighting infections making them especially vulnerable to viruses like COVID, so a third vaccine dose may increase their protection.
Booster shots are meant to be a supplemental boost to your immune system's initial response to the COVID vaccine. The vast majority of the public may be eligible for a COVID booster shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines this fall and winter, pending final recommendation and approval by the CDC.
Booster Shot vs Third Dose:
A booster shot is not the same as a third dose of the vaccine. Third doses can be administered as early as 28 days after a second dose, and are reserved only for those with a weakened immune system who may not have mounted a full response to the initial two shots of the vaccine. If you're unsure about whether a third dose of the vaccine is appropriate for you, talk to your primary care provider.
Where to Get Third Dose and Booster Vaccine:
Unlike last winter, there is ample supply of the vaccines, and local pharmacies are offering both COVID and flu vaccines. We are confident our area pharmacies’, primary care providers and the health department have the ability to provide your COVID booster shots, safely and conveniently, just like they do with flu shots ever year. When a booster shot is authorized and available to you, we recommend that you take it.
NOTE: Currently, Chester County Hospital does not plan to administer Booster Vaccine. If plans change, information will be available to you via our website.
Please check back often for updated vaccine and COVID information as it becomes available.
Am I Eligible to Receive Vaccine?
Eligibility criteria for the COVID-19 vaccine can be found on the PA DOH website. All Pennsylvanians 12 years of age and older are eligible to be vaccinated.
How Do I Schedule a Vaccination Appointment at Chester County Hospital?
To schedule a vaccine at Chester County Hospital, please call Penn Medicine’s COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Center at 267-758-4902, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Where Else is Vaccine Distributed?
There are 20 other vaccine inoculation locations in Chester County. They can be found by visiting https://www.chesco.org/4822/COVID19.
How Do I Get a Replacement COVID-19 Vaccination Card?
What More Should I Know?
We will continue to provide vaccine based on PA DOH guidelines and also the following dependencies:
- COVID-19 Vaccine Availability
- Resource Availability
In order to safely administer vaccine, Chester County Hospital must have available personnel and physical space for inoculation, post vaccine monitoring and appropriate social distancing.
If applicable, your second appointment will be scheduled at the time you receive your first dose.
We are UNABLE to OFFER WALK-IN VACCINATIONS under any circumstances.
Please, do not come to Chester County Hospital without a prescheduled appointment.
Questions about the vaccine, potential side effects, its efficacy or the Emergency Use Authorization can be addressed by visiting the PA DOH website.
Thank you for your support.