Penguins, UPMC join effort to educate community about COVID-19 vaccine

PITTSBURGH — In an effort to educate the community about the COVID-19 vaccine, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Pittsburgh Penguins have teamed up.

The Pens are the first professional sports team to join the “PA Unites Against COVID” campaign, which was started in September 2020 to provide Pennsylvanians with tools and resources to help become educated about and fight COVID-19.

“PA Unites Against COVID” materials will be displayed at PPG Paints Arena for the Penguins’ home games.

The campaign has a special focus on marginalized communities.

The Black Equity Coalition recently released a report highlighting the racial disparity in the vaccine rollout in Allegheny County.

It found 86% of the county’s white population and less than 9% of the county’s black population have been vaccinated.

UMPC is stressing the importance of education, especially after the latest pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“My concern is once this pause is over, and Johnson & Johnson is back on the market, that there has to be a transparent education about the side effects, the risks,” UPMC Dr. Tracey Conti said.