Changes To PA Vaccine Distribution Plan Causes Confusion

On January 19, the Department of Health announced a major change to its Vaccine Distribution Plan saying anyone 65 or over could be vaccinated and people 16 to 64 could get the shot if they had other medical conditions like Type 2 diabetes. The changes follow late federal guidance from the Trump Administration.  Read more here.

            What ensued after the announcement was what more than one news outlet called “chaos” as people in those categories swamped the few available vaccine providers listed on the state website for appointments.  Read more here.

            An epidemiologist from Duquesne University called the vaccine distribution effort, which is mostly under federal control, a “train wreck in slow motion.”  Read more here.

            Providers weren’t given a heads up about the change and hospitals in several areas reported there simply wasn’t enough vaccine to go around.  Read more here.

            The following day the Department of Health asked residents “to be patient.”  Read more here.

            On January 21, newly inaugurated President Biden signed several executive orders making still more changes to the federal vaccine distribution plans saying, “Help is on the way.”  Read more here.

In addition to focusing on increasing vaccine production and the speed of its distribution, the Biden plan reflects the existing CDC recommendations regarding the worker classifications receiving priority for receiving the drug.

The plan has a primary goal of significantly expanding the list of eligible vaccination providers-in addition to pharmacies currently designated. This would include physician offices, mass distribution sites established by FEMA, state and local governments, and other venues.

In addition, it directs an upgrade in worker protection measures, like ordering OSHA to adopt additional COVID standards and enforcement levels.

The Department of Health and others are trying to figure out what those changes will mean for Pennsylvania.

            Click Here to see if you are eligible for a COVID vaccination and nearby local providers.

            PPA Recommendation

PPA reiterates the suggestions it made to the membership last week regarding being proactive in reaching out to local health departments, pharmacies, and health providers as to their plans and policies for vaccination distribution plans going forward.

Click Here for the January 13 PPA Special Bulletin on the state Vaccination Plan.

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