By Benjamin Wolf, Contributing Editor
All Pennsylvanians age 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Therefore, we challenge you to get vaccinated or to help others get vaccinated. Noted below are some resources to help you take action.
What are the Side-Effects?
As is the case with any treatment or medication, you may experience side-effects upon receiving your vaccine. The most common side-effects include:
- pain at the site of the injection
- painful or swollen lymph nodes in the arm where the vaccine was injected
- muscle or joint aches
- nausea and vomiting
- fever or chills
Some people who take the vaccine may also experience a severe allergic reaction, but this is very rare with instances occurring in 11 cases per every million doses administered.
Where Can I Get the Vaccine and How Do I Sign Up?
The State of Pennsylvania’s website provides information on vaccination sign up through the aforementioned Your Turn Tool or through the City of Philadelphia’s COVID-19 Vaccination Interest form. You can also sign up at UPenn’s Hospitals, pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens, and even grocery chains like Wal Mart and Sam’s Club. For more information on vaccination locations in your local community, the volunteer lead initiative VaccinatePA.org offers a database of vaccination sites by county that have doses ready for distribution.
What Can I Do to Help People Get Vaccinated?
While you continue to schedule your own vaccine, we at Pivedite challenge you to take some of the following steps to help others get vaccinated:
- Fight Misinformation
- Reach Out Directly to Friends, Family, and your Neighbors
- If you know someone who is hesitant about getting the vaccine, we encourage you to have open conversations with them about their concerns. To help guide the conversation, the University of Michigan has this helpful overview of what to keep in mind.
- People aged 65 years or older are less likely to have an internet connection than younger generations, and only 26% of seniors admit to feeling confident when using the internet. The threat that COVID-19 poses to this particular age group makes this an especially pertinent problem due to the online nature of vaccine registration. If you have friends, family, or neighbors who are over the age of 65, you can help guide them through the process to successfully register for the vaccine.
- Volunteer and Donate
- If you are interested in helping people locate vaccination sites in their communities, you should consider volunteering with VaccinatePA.org. They need volunteers to place calls to hospitals and pharmacies to help track availability of vaccine doses. Sign up today!
- Penn Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) hospital systems are accepting donations of vital PPE equipment to help them in the fight against COVID-19. Items eligible for donation include:
- Masks, face protection, paper ear loop or tie in original carton (they are not accepting donations of homemade or cloth masks)
- Gloves, non-latex, all sizes in original carton
- Wipes, bleach, alcohol or hydrogen peroxide
- Bottles of bleach (not splash-less)
- Hand sanitizers
- Head covers, disposable bouffant type with elastic band
- Shoe covers, disposable
- Eye protection including face shields
- Safety goggles
- Gowns, disposable water resistant cover gowns in original carton
- PAPRs (powered air-purifying respirators) and PAPR hoods
You can also make monetary donations to Penn Medicine and UPMC, respectively here:
- Penn Medicine
- If you are interested in taking part in clinical trials to help researchers learn more about the affects of COVID-19, Penn Medicine has more information on how you can support their ongoing work available here.
To say the pandemic has had a negative impact on all of our lives would be a major understatement. Between lockdowns, quarantines, and the loss of loved ones, the past year has been a challenging one. The push for vaccinations offers us a light at the end of the tunnel, but it is up to all of us, collectively, to get us through to the other side. Do your part. Get vaccinated or help others get vaccinated!