Less than a month after launching a similar application, the Pennsylvania Department of Health unveiled its Your Turn vaccine eligibility tool this week.
The new tool replaces the original and aims to help Pennsylvanians quickly determine their vaccine eligibility status using the most updated criteria recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
Your Turn guides users through a series of questions, such as residence, date of birth, occupation and pre-existing health conditions. It uses the provided information to determine vaccine eligibility status, and, if eligible, directs users to its vaccine provider tool.
The tool does not register an individual for an appointment, nor does it schedule one, but state officials believe it will help Pennsylvanians younger than 65 determine their eligibility status among vast and quickly changing information.
“Since all seniors are currently eligible to be vaccinated, Pennsylvanians younger than 65 can use this tool to determine if it is their turn to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Pennsylvania,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said in a press release this week. “When it is your turn, we will direct you on how to find a vaccine provider. If it is not your turn yet, you will be able to enter contact information to receive updates about vaccine distribution in Pennsylvania and for us to let you know when it is your turn to get vaccinated.”
While Your Turn makes determining vaccine eligibility status easier, state officials say that initial supplies of the vaccine remain “extremely limited.”
Just under 2.5 million doses of the vaccine will be allocated to or received by providers by the end of this week, according to Pennsylvania Department of Health statistics. A little more than a million Pennsylvanians have received vaccine doses, only 33 percent of whom have received their second dose.
The above figures do not include information related to vaccines distributed through CVS as part of the Federal Pharmacy Partnership, nor does it include information from the Philadelphia region, which is managing its vaccine distribution separately from the state.
Officials are still encouraging all Pennsylvanians to participate in COVID mitigation efforts, such as mask-wearing and physical distancing, as the population slowly becomes vaccinated.
“We are working to vaccinate everyone in Pennsylvania who wishes to receive a vaccination,” Beam said. “While you are waiting for your turn to receive a vaccine, you can visit a provider map to view vaccine providers around you, but remember, please do not register with a vaccine provider until it is your turn. As we wait for more vaccine to become available, make sure you continue to wear a mask, wash your hands, social distance, download COVID Alert PA and visit the department’s website to stay updated. These mitigation efforts are still important even for those who are vaccinated.”
The Commonwealth’s DOH site has a variety of useful COVID and vaccine information on its website, such as the Commonwealth vaccination guide, the vaccine dashboard, the daily COVID-19 report and more.