Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine announced an update to Pennsylvania’s vaccination distribution plan, which follows the blueprint set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The plan is an interim one that is being continuously updated to reflect the latest recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and other guidance available and feedback received.
“This update aligns our plan with the latest recommendations from the ACIP and CDC,” Levine said. “Phase 1A has been further defined to identify specific healthcare providers. Phase 1B is now a significantly larger group of people that includes people age 75 and older, those with significant health issues and essential workers. This update also creates a Phase 1C, which is those people age 65-74 and people with high-risk conditions such as cancer, COPH, heart conditions and pregnant women, and those essential workers not included in Phase 1A or B.”
When more vaccine is available, anyone who was not previously covered and is age 16 and older, will now be vaccinated in Phase 2.
The revised plan as posted on the department’s website includes a comment form for all interested parties to provide input to be considered by the department. This form helps to fulfill the administration’s goal of promoting transparency and making this fluid process as inclusive as possible.
“Vaccinations are an important tool in stopping the spread of COVID-19, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency have done a lot of hard work to facilitate a smooth, strategic vaccine rollout,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “But most of the vaccine distribution process is controlled by the federal government and unfortunately, that means there are a lot of unknowns.
“However, my administration is doing everything we can now to prepare for the day when the vaccine is more widely available. There are hopeful signs we must embrace. They will help us regain control in a time when many things may seem very out of control.”
The first shipments of vaccine to Pennsylvania are being given to healthcare workers, and through the Federal Pharmacy Partnership with information the Department of Health has shared with the federal government, people working and residing in the state’s long-term care facilities have also begun to receive the vaccine. This work continues.
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