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Butler Health System website provides easy vaccination scheduling

March 5, 2021 Digital Media Exclusive

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Butler Health System has a step-by-step process for people to schedule COVID-19 vaccinations online or by phone on its website.

The first page on the website — https://www.butlerhealthsystem.org/CoronaVirus/COVID19-Vaccine-Scheduling.aspx — begins with information about vaccine availability and eligibility.

Butler Health System has no control over if and when it will receive vaccine doses. The Pennsylvania Department of Health is responsible for distribution. Butler Health System has distributed vaccine as soon as it is received, according to the website.

It notes that U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's revised guidelines say the second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can be given up to 42 days after the first dose.

The health system's hospitals — Butler Memorial Hospital and Clarion Hospital — are currently providing vaccinations for people in the 1A group who live in Butler, Clarion and Forest counties. Group 1A includes people age 65 or older or age 16 to 64 with a qualifying medical condition.

Those conditions include cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, Down syndrome, obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, smoking and Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies are qualifying conditions. People with immune systems weakened from organ transplant or from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids or use of other immune weakening medicines are included.

The website says people age 65 and older must provide proof of age, such as a driver's license or other proof of eligibility.

Butler County residents who don't have access to a computer and need assistance to schedule vaccinations are instructed to call the Center for Community Resources at 888-550-7468 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

The instructions include a note saying that those who previously called and requested an appointment through the Area Agency on Aging do not need to call the CCR.

Calls previously placed with the Area Agency on Aging will be honored. Only new appointment requests are being directed to the CCR.

Clarion and Forest county residents without access to a computer should call 814-297-7820 for more information.

People who have tested positive for the virus should wait 30 days to get vaccinated.

The health system asks people to have their insurance card information ready when signing up.

Only one appointment can be scheduled at a time. If people click on the website to schedule an appointment and no available time slots appear, the hospital is out of vaccine and they should try later to schedule an appointment.

The website directs people to choose an appointment date from a list of dates for the first dose, and the second dose will be scheduled at the first dose appointment.

For the Pfizer vaccine, the second dose is given 17 to 21 days after the first dose. The second Moderna dose is given 24 to 28 days after the first dose.

Butler County residents who want to change their appointments should email the health system at VaccineButler@butlerhealthsystem.org.

Clarion and Forest county residents wishing to change appointments should send an email to VaccineClarion@butlerhealthsystem.org.

People who show up without appointments will not receive a vaccination, according to the website. There is now a waiting list for vaccinations.

At the end of the instruction, there is a link for people to click to schedule appointments. The link takes people to a different page, where they can select appointment dates.

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