Geisinger Data Shows COVID-19 Vaccine Proving Effective With more than a quarter million doses administered, and eligibility expanded to everyone 16 and older, Geisinger’s data indicates the COVID-19 vaccine is proving effective among those vaccinated in earlier phases. To date, Geisinger has administered 266,000 vaccine doses. Based on Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines in December 2020, Geisinger employees were among the first groups to be vaccinated. As a result, the weekly average of new positive COVID-19 tests among employees has remained in the single digits since early February, down from the mid-30s in early December. Since employee vaccinations began in mid-December, we saw positive testing rates among employees plummet through January and stay consistently low as more employees received the vaccine (see figure 1). The trended COVID-19 vaccinations of Geisinger employees versus the seven-day average of COVID-19 positive employee tests. Similarly, the average number of COVID-19 admissions for those age 65 and older has also decreased significantly as vaccines have been rolled out to that age group starting in mid- January. “The science — and our data — clearly demonstrates these vaccines are proving effective in helping prevent illness, hospitalizations and death,” said Jaewon Ryu, JD, MD, Geisinger president and chief executive officer. “If we are looking to put this pandemic behind us and return to a sense of normalcy, the vaccine is a great way to get there.” While the vaccine is proving effective for many who have received it, a worrying trend is emerging across Geisinger’s communities. For the second week in a row, the majority of those being hospitalized for COVID-19 are younger than 65, with a growing number between age 25 and 49. “What we don’t want is this increase of hospital admissions among younger people to accelerate. The vaccine can keep that from happening,” Ryu said. “Masking, social distancing and other mitigation efforts have helped us as well so far, but the best way we can win this fight is with the vaccine. It will help us get out in front of this virus and its potential mutations that threaten our ability to get our communities back to normal.” Vaccine appointments remain available at Geisinger’s four vaccine centers in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. You can self-schedule a vaccine appointment through myGeisinger or by calling 570-284-3657. It still remains critical for everyone – vaccinated or not – to keep wearing a mask, physical distancing, and practicing good hand hygiene to stop the virus’ spread. For the latest information on the COVID vaccine, visit geisinger.org/COVIDVax.