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Western PA Regional Chief Medical Officers Consortium A Call for All to get Vaccinated Against COVID 19 - Finishing the Job

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On behalf of our hospitals and health care systems, we strongly recommend everyone get vaccinated against COVID 19. We do not have enough vaccine participation yet to create the collective protection we all seek, protection that will allow us to have more normal lifestyles.

Each vaccine available – from Moderna (2 doses), Pfizer (2 doses), and Johnson & Johnson (a single dose) – is well studied and offers safe, excellent protection from severe illness. The temporary pause taken last week with one vaccine to assess a very rare (about 1 in a million) potential blood clot issues highlights the careful nature of our approach. The risk of serious illness, including blood clots or other problems – even in the young – is much higher if you get COVID -19 infection than if you get the vaccine. And, if you skip vaccination, you are much more likely to get COVID 19 and be harmed.

Wondering about the safety of any care is wise. That is why we are sharing the evidence, which is clear: These vaccines protect many people and have very little risk – it is far safer to get vaccinated than to get COVID-19.

To keep you safe and to keep others safe, get a vaccine as soon as possible – we have supplies and vaccination clinics ready for you. Go to or contact whichever vaccination provider that is easiest for you; if you have a concern, ask your doctor or call ahead for advice. We want you to be safe.

Please encourage all 16 years old and older in your family and among your friends to get a vaccine. We will get this pandemic behind us if we all finish this last step.

The Southwestern PA Regional CMO Consortium:

  • Donald M. Yealy, MDChief Medical Officer, UPMC
  • Donald M. Whiting, MDChief Medical Officer, Allegheny Health Network
  • Carol J. Fox, MDChief Medical Officer, Excela Health System
  • David Rottinghaus, MDChief Medical Officer, Butler Health System
  • Michael Cratty, MDChief Medical Officer, Heritage Valley Health System
  • John Sullivan, MDChief Medical Officer, St. Clair Hospital
  • John Six, MDChief Medical Officer, Washington Health System
  • Ali F. Sonel, MDChief Medical Officer, Pittsburgh VA Health System
  • Elizabeth Dunmore, MDChief Medical Officer, Conemaugh Health System
  • Russell Cameron, MDChief Medical Officer, Penn Highlands Healthcare
  • Richard K. Neff, MDChief Medical Officer, Indiana Regional Medical Center
  • James W. Backstrom, MDChief Medical Officer, Armstrong Co Memorial Hospital