Pa. Department of Health Updates Interim Vaccination Plan

Last Updated: Jan 8, 2021

On Jan. 8, 2021, the Pa. Department of Health announced that it has updated its Interim Vaccination Plan to align with new Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations.

  • Phase 1A – Further defines specific health care providers in this phase. This phase includes long-term care facility residents and staff, and health care personnel including, but not limited to:

    • Physicians
    • Emergency medical service personnel
    • Nurses
    • Nursing assistants
    • Dentists
    • Dental hygienists
    • Chiropractors
    • Therapists
    • Phlebotomists
    • Pharmacists
    • Technicians
    • Pharmacy technicians
    • Health professions students and trainees
    • Direct support professionals
    • Clinical personnel in school settings or correctional facilities
    • Contractual health care personnel not directly employed by the health care facility
    • Persons not directly involved in patient care but potentially exposed to infectious material that can transmit disease among or from health care personnel and patients

  • Phase 1B – A larger group than Phase 1A, Secretary of Health Rachel Levine, MD, said that this phase of vaccine distribution includes people ages 75 and older, those with significant health issues, and frontline workers, including:

    • People in congregate settings not otherwise specified as long-term care facilities and persons receiving home and community-based services
    • First responders
    • Correctional officers and other workers serving people in congregate care settings not included in Phase 1A  
    • Food and agricultural workers
    • U.S. Postal Service workers
    • Manufacturing workers  
    • Grocery store workers  
    • Education workers
    • Clergy and other essential support for houses of worship
    • Public transit workers
    • Individuals caring for children or adults in early childhood and adult day programs

  • Phase 1C – This phase is new to DOH’s Interim Vaccination Plan, and includes people 65-74 years of age and people with high-risk conditions such as COPD, heart conditions, cancer, and pregnant women. Also included in this phase are essential workers not included in Phase 1A or 1B, including those who work in:

    • Transportation and logistics
    • Water and wastewater
    • Food service
    • Housing construction
    • Finance, including bank tellers
    • Information technology
    • Communications
    • Energy, including nuclear reactors
    • Legal services
    • Federal, state, county and local government workers, including county election workers, elected officials and members of the judiciary and their staff
    • Media
    • Public safety
    • Public health workers

  • Phase 2 – General public, 16 and older – Dr. Levine said this phase is likely to occur in late spring/summer, depending on what other vaccines enter the pipeline.

During the Jan. 8 press conference, Dr. Levine also announced an online form for people to submit feedback on DOH’s Interim Vaccine Plan. You can access the form here.

Dr. Levine gave these tips for people to follow:

  • Check with your health care provider to confirm that you’re a candidate for the vaccine.

  • Continue mitigation measures, such as wearing a mask, social distancing, and downloading the state’s COVID-19 Alert mobile app.

Dr. Levine also announced that, to date, approximately 827,300 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. She also said that she expects this number is low because there is a delay in reporting, and that this might not yet be reflected on DOH’s dashboard as they are waiting on CVS to upload data into their system.

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