Press Statement: Physicians Face Sea of Obstacles in Vaccinating Patients

Last Updated: Mar 24, 2021

Physicians, along with their colleagues in health care, have been the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic for more than a year. Now that there are vaccines, they stand ready and willing to vaccinate the patients they’ve been caring for through this difficult time.

It isn’t that easy, though.

Many physicians’ offices face a slew of hurdles, the latest being a PREP Act Amendment last week that expanded COVID-19 vaccinators to include veterinarians and dentists amongst other practitioners.

With the narrowing of the supply chain, removing most physician offices from the plan, implementing new rules for those who wish to vaccinate, and not communicating directly with those who’ve applied to become vaccinators, and now the expansion of the list of providers eligible to provide the vaccines, there seems to be a sea of obstacles that stand in the way of allowing physician practices to administer vaccines to their patients.

PAMED continues to advocate for our physician members and their capable teams meeting regularly with the Department of Health. We continue to offer our expertise and input and hope to insert the physicians back into the process of caring for their patients.

“Pennsylvania needs to use the already established and available network of physicians across the state, particularly primary care practitioners,” said PAMED President Michael DellaVecchia, MD. “The Pennsylvania Medical Society urges our public officials to tap into this immediate resource. Physicians are extremely qualified to help solve this critical need.”

 
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Media Contact
Claire Shearer
mediarelations@pamedsoc.org

About the Pennsylvania Medical Society

PAMED is a physician-led, member-driven organization representing all physicians and medical students throughout the state. We advocate for physicians and their patients, educate physicians through continuing medical education, and provide expert resources and guidance to help physicians and their organizations navigate challenges in today’s ever-evolving health care system. For more information, visit www.pamedsoc.org.

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  1. Paul Williams | Mar 29, 2021
    This has been a preverbial cluster from the start -  When I registered - I had to supply all kinds of information about the office and refrigerators/freezers -  and need for 24/7 data loggers and alarms   - which I ordered - the same day I get an email that says they are shipping vaccine to me -  of course it was delivered OUTSIDE of office hours  - despite the box clearly marked when I was open.   Since then it has gone downhill -  first it was "give all vaccines  - don't hold anything back"   then it was  "oh - you should have know which doses were for 1st dose and which were for 2nd dose  -  they aren't marked or indicated as such on the packing slip.   Then it was -  "ok lets shift the vaccine supply to pharmacies and large health systems  -  ok  some large chains get their supply from a different channel than the state   and I know of at least 1 health system when that infamous Friday night before President's Day holiday email came out that was STILL developing policies and recruiting staff to man their clinics.   Then it was  oh   you can't force people to use the internet to make appointments since the 1A population is internet naive -  except to find out where to get vaccine the DOH recommends people check out their website!  Then the provider phone meetings started  -  its been a long time since kindergarten for me but on the two I listened in on - I felt the strong urge to wait for milk and cookies before laying down for a nap.   And now  - we have the mega clinics  - and everyone can vaccinate  -  maybe we should ask funeral directors to help out too!!!    any please someone explain to me  if the CDC was handing out vaccines based on populations and only a % due to lack of supply  - why are some states already offering vaccine to everyone and PA is stuck still in 1A??    If the US had managed WW2 like they are managing Covid  I truly believe we would all be speaking German.   
  2. Jay Cooperman | Mar 26, 2021
    Thank you for your advocacy on behalf of independent physicians.  It has been extremely frustrating being unable to help patients in group 1A who have been unable to access a Covid vaccine even up to the present time.  This has been particularly true as we have seen so many examples of guidelines not being followed in assessing risk based on individual health status as opposed to simply age. Who is in a better position than we are to assess risk accurately and provide the vaccine to the most vulnerable among our patients?   
  3. Holly Hoffman | Mar 25, 2021
    I have found the PA-DOH's actions very disturbing. First, we were told that, as primary care pediatricians, we were expected to be "the" pediatric testig sites early on, even though no one asked our permission. But, despite taking on that risk and being "good enough" to do testing, we somehow didn't have the capacity to give COVID vaccine? The federal government considers us good enough to store and administer their VFC vaccines in $8000 each (X4 in our office) state-of-the-art medical refrigerators with 24 hour continuous temperature readout and alarms. We give 300 flu shots a morning in our flu clinics each fall. But somehow we are incapable of storing and giving COVID vaccine? And pharmacies somehow ARE? As an independent practice still struggling to survive the reduced income (even after PPP and CARES), I am ... BEYOND angry and frustrated. Thank you PAMED for speaking up for us!

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