COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Vaccine distribution is handled by licensed healthcare providers and pharmacies. The County of Berks cannot distribute nor determine who gets the vaccine, but officials are working closely with local health care providers as they continue to coordinate and communicate vaccine distribution efforts.
Updates will be posted here as they become available.
For information about vaccine distribution in Pennsylvania, check out the following resources from the Department of Health:
Green dots indicate a facility has received vaccine and may have vaccine availability
Tower Health seeking volunteers for COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics
Tower Health is building teams to support the health system's COVID-19 vaccination efforts for the patients and communities it serves. The health system is seeking volunteer licensed clinicians to administer vaccine, as well as individuals who can provide volunteer clerical support for Tower Health's community-based COVID-19 vaccine clinics.
Qualified individuals can visit Towerhealth.org/Volunteer to complete an application form.
The vaccine is currently being distributed to individuals in Phase 1A, which includes healthcare workers, long-term care facility residents, individuals ages 65 and older and individuals with high-risk conditions.
Pennsylvania's COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Phases
• Long-term care facility residents
Health care personnel including, but not limited to:
• Emergency medical service personnel
• Nursing assistants
• Dental hygienists
• Pharmacy technicians
• Health professions students and trainees
• Direct support professionals
• Clinical personnel in school settings or correctional facilities
• Contractual HCP not directly employed by the health care facility
• Persons not directly involved in patient care but potentially exposed to infectious material that can transmit disease among or from health care personnel and patients
• Persons ages 65 and older
• Chronic kidney disease
• 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)
• Sickle cell disease
• Type 2 diabetes mellitus
• People in congregate settings not otherwise specified as LTCF and persons receiving home and community-based services
• First responders
• Correctional officers and other workers serving people in congregate care settings not included in Phase 1A
• Food and agricultural workers
• U.S. Postal Service workers
• Manufacturing workers
• Grocery store workers
• Education workers
• Clergy and other essential support for houses of worship
• Public transit workers
• Individuals caring for children or adults in early childhood and adult day programs
Essential workers in these sectors:
• Transportation and logistics
• Water and wastewater
• Food service
• Housing construction
• Finance, including bank tellers
• Information technology
• Energy, including nuclear reactors
• Legal services
• Federal, state, county and local government workers, including county election workers, elected officials and members of the judiciary and their staff
• Public safety
• Public health workers
All individuals not previously covered who are 16 and older and do not have a contraindication to the vaccine (note that at this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech product is approved for those age 16 and 17)
Berks County COVID-19 Vaccination Presentation - Jan. 14
Brian Gottschall, Director of Emergency Services, provides a presentation on the COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution in Pennsylvania and updates on the current status in Berks County.
This presentation was part of the Berks County Board of Commissioners meeting on January 14, 2021.
Why should you get Vaccinated?
The federal government, through Operation Warp Speed, has been working since the pandemic started to make one or more COVID-19 vaccines available as soon as possible. Two vaccines, from Pfizer and Moderna, were made available in December. Those vaccines went through the same routine processes and procedures that are in place for the authorization and approval for any vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19
All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States have been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19. Learn more about the different COVID-19 vaccines.
All COVID-19 vaccines that are in development are being carefully evaluated in clinical trials and will be authorized or approved only if they make it substantially less likely you’ll get COVID-19. Learn more about how federal partners are ensuring COVID-19 vaccines work.
Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases and early data from clinical trials, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.
Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Experts continue to conduct more studies about the effect of COVID-19 vaccination on severity of illness from COVID-19, as well as its ability to keep people from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccination is a safer way to help build protection
COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. And if you get sick, you could spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you.
Clinical trials of all vaccines must first show they are safe and effective before any vaccine can be authorized or approved for use, including COVID-19 vaccines. The known and potential benefits of a COVID-19 vaccine must outweigh the known and potential risks of the vaccine for use under what is known as an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Watch a video on what an EUA is.
Getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection, known as immunity. But experts don’t know how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody (immune system) response without having to experience sickness.
Both natural immunity and immunity produced by a vaccine are important parts of COVID-19 disease that experts are trying to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.
COVID-19 vaccination is an important tool to help end the pandemic
Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.
The combination of getting vaccinated and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.
Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available. As experts learn more about how COVID-19 vaccination may help reduce spread of the disease in communities, CDC will continue to update the recommendations to protect communities using the latest science.