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July 29, 2021 - Harrisburg, PA

Department of Health Launches Text Messaging Initiative to Get More Pennsylvanians Fully Vaccinated

Pennsylvania Department of Health Acting Secretary Alison Beam and Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson announced a new initiative to get more people fully vaccinated. Starting next week, the department will send a second dose reminder text to individuals who got their first dose but missed their second appointment.

"We have been making great progress in the fight against COVID-19, as more than 5.7 million Pennsylvanians have stepped up to get fully vaccinated," Acting Secretary Beam said. "We want to remind everyone that getting the second dose is important to help protect against COVID and the Delta variant. While the recommendation is to get the second dose within 42 days for best results, we know that schedules can be hectic and people miss appointments. The goal of these reminders is to make sure people know that it is never too late to get your second dose, and to help individuals make a new second dose appointment at a provider convenient to them. Even if you were one of the first people to get vaccinated back in December, if you missed your second dose, there is still time to get it."

Text messages will be sent early next week to 254,850 contacts. The first text message will go to people who got their first dose between Dec. 14, 2020 and May 14, 2021 and have not gotten their second dose. Individuals contacted provided phone numbers to their providers when they made their first dose appointments. Individual vaccine providers have commonly used text messaging as a tool for appointment reminders.