LVHN Patients Can Now Schedule Appointments for New COVID-19 Vaccines

LVHN Patients Can Now Schedule Appointments for New COVID-19 Vaccines

Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) has announced that patients can now contact their doctors to schedule appointments for the newly authorized COVID-19 vaccines. These vaccines have been specifically formulated to be more effective against the recent circulating variants of the virus. LVHN’s physician group practices (LVPG) are expecting vaccine shipments from Pfizer-BioNTech to arrive next week.

Patients who are interested in receiving the new COVID vaccine can either call their doctor’s office directly or send a message through the MyLVHN patient portal to express their interest in scheduling an appointment. It is important to note that COVID vaccine shots at LVPG practices are available by appointment only. LVHN no longer operates large COVID-19 shot clinics as it did in the early stages of the pandemic.

Additionally, LVHN will only be offering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in its practices at this time. Both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines will be available at retail pharmacies across the region. Patients may receive either vaccine, regardless of which COVID vaccine they have received in the past.

LVHN also mentioned that it expects to have COVID vaccines available soon at its ExpressCARE locations, and details regarding availability will be announced at a later date.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months and older receive an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against the potentially severe outcomes of COVID-19 illness during the fall and winter. The new COVID vaccine, like the previous vaccines, aims to reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death following infection with COVID. Recent data from the CDC indicates that the COVID vaccine also lowers the likelihood of developing long COVID-19.

Insurance will cover the cost of the COVID vaccine, although an administration fee may apply in some cases. LVHN advises individuals to check with their insurance carrier for coverage information. Additionally, the CDC offers a Bridge Access Program for uninsured and underinsured adults.

The new monovalent COVID-19 vaccines provided by LVHN are specifically designed to offer more targeted protection against newer strains of the virus, including the XBB.1.5 variant, a descendant of the omicron variant.

LVHN emphasizes the importance of vaccination against COVID, especially for those in high-risk groups and individuals with underlying medical conditions. It is recommended that patients consult with their doctors or clinicians to make the vaccine decision that is right for them.

Although COVID is still present, LVHN acknowledges that our understanding of the virus has evolved over the past three years and that our immune systems have become better equipped to respond to infection due to prior vaccines and natural exposure. While there has been an increase in cases and hospitalizations, they are still significantly lower than previous September levels.

Source: Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN)

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