Pa. DOH issues order to expedite COVID-19 vaccine administration, expand accessibility for seniors

Coronavirus

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam issued an order that changes requirements for vaccine providers in an effort to enable Pennsylvanians to get vaccinated as quickly as possible on Friday.

“I understand how frustrating the current vaccine process can seem and we have heard from many Pennsylvanians that are struggling to schedule an appointment,” Acting Secretary Beam said. “As there is very limited COVID-19 vaccine supply compared to demand, every possible effort must be made so that the vaccine received in the commonwealth is effectively administered. To achieve this goal, I am issuing an order outlining appropriate steps and recognized best practices to ensure vaccine providers are effectively meeting the goal of vaccinating Pennsylvanians and creating a healthy Pennsylvania for all.”

The updated requirements for vaccine providers include:

  • At a minimum, vaccine providers must administer 80 percent of their first doses of vaccine received within seven days of receipt of those doses.
  • Vaccine providers must follow all requirements and recommendations in the COVID-19 Interim Vaccination Plan.
  • Vaccine providers must adhere to the current phase of Pennsylvania’s vaccine rollout, as defined by the department.
  • Vaccine providers giving a two-dose vaccine shall provide the COVID-19 vaccine reminder card with a date for a return appointment for the second dose of vaccine.
  • Vaccine providers giving a two-dose vaccine must make every appropriate effort to ensure available appointments for second doses, including, but not limited to, designating appointment times for second doses or scheduling second doses at the time of first dose administration, or both.
  • Vaccine providers must have both an online and a phone-based registration system for direct appointment scheduling. Information on these systems must be made available to the department so it can be posted online.
  • Vaccine providers must report the following:
    • Vaccinations and the information required by the Order Requiring Reporting of Data Related to Each Administration of an Immunization for COVID-19, dated December 15, 2020, on each vaccine administered, including race and ethnicity of the recipient, whether or not the recipient is connected to the vaccine provider.
    • Within 24 hours of receipt of inventory or administration of a vaccine, vaccine providers shall report:
      • Receipt of shipments of COVID-19 immunization inventory;
      • Reduction in inventory levels as vaccines are administered; and
      • Reconciliation of inventory levels.

Vaccine providers may have their allocation of first doses reduced, or temporarily suspended, for failure to comply with guidance from the federal government and state law, including failure to comply with the Order. Allocations of first doses reduced or temporarily suspended may be restored once a vaccine provider provides assurance of future compliance of the Order to the department.

Read the full order:

For additional information about the new order, visit the Pennsylvania Pressroom.

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