Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Many places across our community are now offering the COVID vaccine booster. Please talk with your doctor about what is best for you and your health. While Doylestown Hospital is not providing COVID vaccine clinics for the community, most local pharmacies are carrying the vaccine as well as the new COVID bivalent boosters.

Here are some frequently asked questions about the new vaccine boosters to help guide you:

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can get the new COVID bivalent booster vaccine?

  • You must have already received a primary vaccine series (either primary series with Pfizer or Moderna or J & J).
  • It must be at least two months since your last COVID vaccine (either primary series or booster).
  • Note: Moderna bivalent booster is only for patients 18 years or older; Pfizer bivalent booster is only for patients 12 years or older.

What does ‘bivalent’ mean and how is this different than the original mRNA vaccines?

  • The original COVID-19 vaccines from the drug companies’ Pfizer and Moderna used the original COVID strain that was first identified in December of 2019.  Since these vaccines only had a single strain of the virus they are called “mono-valent.”
  • The “bivalent” COVID-19 vaccines contain both the original COVID-19 strain as well as Omicron BA.4, BA.5. 
  • The science behind the vaccines is that as a virus mutates, then your immune system’s protection will start to decrease.
  • The only bivalent boosters currently authorized are mRNA versions — one by Pfizer, another by Moderna — and this is the first time these mRNA vaccines have been updated.
  • By comparison, the current flu vaccine provided is “quadrivalent” aka “QIV” because it is made with four strains of flu virus. One of our Pneumococcal vaccines has 23 different strains included in it.

When can I get a COVID vaccine or booster after having a COVID infection?

  • When your isolation period is over and symptoms have resolved, a COVID vaccine or booster can be administered. 
  • You do not need to have a negative test before vaccination.  
  • It is reasonable for a person to wait four to 12 weeks after infusion prior to receiving a booster. A patient generally still has immunity for two to three months post infection and it allows the immune system to recognize the vaccine as a separate event from the infection.

How long should I wait between COVID Vaccine and the Flu Vaccine?

  • You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including a flu vaccine, on the same day.
  • Experience with other vaccines has shown that the way our bodies develop protection, known as an immune response, and possible side effects after getting vaccinated are generally the same when given alone or with other vaccines.

Should I get another dose of the same type of vaccine I had before, or should I switch to a different one?

  • Pennsylvania Department of Health has stated that they recommend the best booster is the one you can obtain. PA DOH states it is safe to switch manufacturers for the bivalent booster.
  • Previous studies of the monovalent vaccine (the original ones) reported that patients who received mRNA vaccine boosters with a manufacturer different from the first two doses, generated similar immune responses than those who received the same brand for their primary and booster.
  • There is no published data to support or refute idea of switching the bivalent booster brand.  
  • As of this writing, neither Pfizer, nor Moderna have published final data on how effective their bivalent vaccines are. The FDA has granted EUA status based on data from the monovalent studies.
  • This link is one of the most up to date publications on the new bivalent vaccines: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2208343.

What type of side effects would I be likely to experience?

How safe are the COVID-19 vaccines?

Recommendations for Unvaccinated Children

The best way to protect unvaccinated children is to have everyone in your family 6 months or older receive the COVID-19 vaccine*. COVID vaccines are effective at helping protect against severe disease and death from variants of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Symptoms

Pediatric symptoms are similar to those for adults and include cough, fever, tiredness, muscle/body aches, headache, sore throat and GI symptoms (diarrhea).

Quarantine Recommendations

Anyone with symptoms of COVID should quarantine from others in the household until testing can confirm the diagnosis. Most tests results are returned in 24 to 48 hours. When possible, remove yourself from your family, in a separate room with a bathroom if possible, until you get your results. If this is not possible, wear a mask around your family and maintain three to six feet of distance whenever possible. Family should also wear a mask when you are in the room.

You are considered COVID “cleared” ten days after your first symptom appeared and once you have been fever-free for 24 hours.

How to Get Tested for COVID-19

Testing is available at Doylestown Health Urgent Care. Most drugstore chains including CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid offer testing. Call to make an appointment and confirm hours.

*Currently three vaccines are available: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Pfizer is an mRNA vaccine and requires two doses, 21 days apart; Moderna is an mRNA vaccine and requires two doses, 28 days apart; and J&J is a one-dose vaccine.

Masking is only required in areas where patient care is being administered.

Masks are still required in the following locations:
  • Inpatient units and inpatient rooms
  • Exam and treatment rooms
  • Blood Draw/Lab Area (Phlebotomy)
  • Radiology 
  • Outpatient Physical and Rehabilitation Therapy 
  • Emergency Department waiting areas and treatment areas 
Masks are not required in the following locations:
  • Waiting areas (except the Emergency Department) 
  • Lounges
  • Hallways and Lobbies
  • Cafeteria

Symptoms of COVID-19 may vary by person and range from mild to severe illness. Symptoms of Coronavirus include:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • The loss of sense of smell and taste

Testing is available at Doylestown Health Urgent Care. 

Screening Tests

Patients interested in being tested should consult their primary care physician first about the need and appropriateness for a screening test. If you do not have a primary care provider, please visit the Find a Provider section of our website for a complete listing of Doylestown Health Medical Staff primary care providers.

Test Results

Patients who were tested and experiencing even mild symptoms should stay home while awaiting results.

Testing Cost

Federal law requires private insurers, Medicare and Medicaid to cover COVID-19 tests without any cost to the patient and provides funding to support free testing for some people without health insurance, though it does not guarantee access to no-cost tests for the uninsured. In order to bill your insurance, an order from your healthcare provider is required. If you do not have an order from your healthcare provider, we can perform the test for a fee of $125.

Doylestown Health has been a leader, not only throughout this pandemic, but also in the vaccine distribution for our county. Since the very first Pfizer doses of COVID vaccine became available on December 17, 2020, Doylestown Hospital, in collaboration with our physician community and under the direction of the State Department of Health, made the commitment to provide the vaccine to the community in which we serve.

At our peak, Doylestown Health was routinely administering more than 1,000 doses daily, five days a week, allocating over 30,000 employee work hours to this effort. Due to our commitment to serving the community, we are ecstatic to report that we provided more vaccine than any health system in the county.

Doylestown Health has administered more than 70,000 doses to our general community, vulnerable groups (e.g., comorbidities, elderly and socioeconomically vulnerable), children 12 years and older, healthcare workers and our patients. As the local availability and access to vaccines have dramatically increased recently, Doylestown Health has scaled down our vaccine footprint to meet demand and allow the reallocation of resources to our clinical responsibilities.

For available appointments for those 12 years and older, appointments can be made online only.

NOTE: Doylestown Health is not offering vaccines for children under 12 at this time. Parents of children ages 6 months-11 can contact their pediatrician or family doctor for COVID vaccination information.

While community vaccination has been viewed as our highest priority project, it was only accomplished with the great commitment of the organization and its associates, as it oftentimes created great challenges, while simultaneously maintaining the health system’s breadth of quality services.

We thank everyone in the community and within the organization for their support of these efforts.

NOTE: Doylestown Health is not offering vaccines to the community at this time. Please contact your physician or child's pediatrician for COVID vaccination information. Your local pharmacy likely has all vaccines and boosters available. 

You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including a flu vaccine, at the same time. Experience with other vaccines has shown that the way our bodies develop protection, known as an immune response, and possible side effects after getting vaccinated are generally the same when given alone or with other vaccines.

CDC Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination

NOTE: Please contact your primary care physician to schedule a flu shot.

To obtain a copy of your Doylestown Health COVID-19 vaccination record, please submit your request on the Medical Records page.

COVID Monoclonal antibodies are designed to act like the body’s natural immune response and bind to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and prevent it from invading human cells.
COVID monoclonal antibodies are available as treatment for COVID-19 for patients at high risk of progression to severe disease who meet specific criteria as defined by the FDA emergency use authorization.

Doylestown Health administers COVID monoclonal antibodies to patients upon referral by a healthcare provider for treatment of COVID-19. There is limited availability. Antibodies are administered at Doylestown Health by appointment only, and must be arranged through a patient’s doctor.

  • Antibodies will not be provided to patients who have not been referred by a doctor.
  • Antibodies will not be provided if a patient does not have an appointment.

If you are currently positive for COVID and would like to know if you qualify, please reach out to your doctor. Below are more details about qualifications and links to FDA Emergency Use Authorization patient fact sheets on COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies. Other locations for COVID monoclonal antibody administration are available through https://covid.infusioncenter.org

COVID monoclonal antibodies have FDA emergency use authorization for patients:

  • Positive for COVID-19 with mild to moderate symptoms
  • Not requiring hospitalization or oxygen due to COVID
  • At high risk for developing severe disease
    • (for example but not a full list: patients over the age of 65 years, or immunocompromised, or pregnant or have organ dysfunction)

Guidelines and recommendations from the Department of Health and CDC are updated regularly. Please visit these websites for the most recent information:

For the safety of patients, visitors and staff, Doylestown Hospital has implemented a RESTRICTED visitor policy due to COVID-19. For details, please visit our Visiting a Patient page.

Speak to your physician about the risks and benefits of maintaining your healthcare appointments. For some patients, missing an appointment or postponing a procedure may be detrimental. Please follow your physician’s direction.

Outpatient Services Are Open

Your health and well-being are our highest priority. We have set high standards for safety and are taking every precaution possible when you visit us for outpatient services at Doylestown Health locations.

Doylestown Health Medical Staff providers are now offering telehealth appointments, bringing you safe, effective healthcare in the comfort of your home. Telehealth is the safest option for managing routine healthcare and addressing the challenges of COVID-19, because you don't have to leave your house to see a doctor.

For Telehealth information, please call (215)-345-2200.

Guidelines and recommendations from the Department of Health and CDC are updated regularly. Please visit these websites for the most recent information:

Doylestown Health Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Doylestown Health, raising funds to support patient care excellence and improve quality of life for the patients and families we serve.

Doylestown Health’s response to the pandemic was extraordinary; philanthropic support ensures that Doylestown Hospital remains independent and empowers our flexibility to respond to the needs of our community with agility and expertise. The best way to make an impact is with a contribution to the Doylestown Hospital fund, which supports the top priority needs of the health system.

You can learn more about Doylestown Health’s rapid and innovative response to the pandemic in this groundbreaking docuseries.

Support Doylestown Health