Harrisburg, PA – Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today announced the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program has begun vaccinating residents and staff at 126 Pennsylvania skilled nursing facilities using the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
“Vaccinating residents and staff at skilled nursing facilities is critical to protecting these vulnerable populations,” Dr. Levine said. “As our federal partners work to coordinate vaccinations for this critical population, we remind Pennsylvanians to remain calm and patient as we continue to rollout our phased distribution.”
Starting on Monday, December 28, CVS Pharmacy has been working to vaccinate residents and staff in 120 skilled nursing facilities and Walgreens has been holding vaccine clinics at six skilled nursing facilities. Developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the program provides end-to-end management of the COVID-19 vaccination process at no cost to the facilities. The distribution timeline of facilities was selected by CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens and Operation Warp Speed
In the first weeks, the partnership will vaccinate skilled nursing facilities’ staff and residents. In Pennsylvania, these facilities are licensed by the Department of Health. All licensed skilled nursing facilities in PA are eligible for the program. Of eligible facilities, 603 have chosen the federal pharmacy partnership to complete vaccination and 89 have opted out of the federal pharmacy partnership. The department will be working with those that have opted out to complete vaccinations. Pennsylvania submitted to the CDC a list of additional facility types for the CDC’s review and approval to participate in the federal partnership including personal care homes, assisted living facilities, private intermediate care facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities, community group homes, residential treatment facilities for adults, long-term structured residences, state veterans homes, state centers, private psychiatric hospitals and Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs). If the CDC approves these facility types, they will receive vaccination through the partnership after skilled nursing facilities.
Philadelphia Department of Public Health is receiving its own allocations of vaccine from the federal government and is operating separately from the efforts of the department.
As of December 29, hospitals have vaccinated 96,045 health care workers and will continue to vaccinate those in Group 1A. This week, 56 hospitals either have or will receive 47,775 Pfizer-BioNTech and 26,100 Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses shipped directly to hospitals and health care systems for continued vaccination of hospital staff and non-affiliated individuals through coordinated hospital partnerships.
Pennsylvania hospitals began receiving shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine the week of Dec. 14 and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine the week of Dec. 21.
A spreadsheet of facilities that have received vaccine can be found here.
The Wolf Administration stresses the role Pennsylvanians play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19:
· Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
· Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
· Clean surfaces frequently.
· Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
· If you must go out, you are required to wear a mask when in a business or where it is difficult to maintain proper social distancing.
· Download the COVID Alert PA app and make your phone part of the fight. The free app can be found in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store by searching for “covid alert pa”.
Updated Coronavirus Links: Press Releases, State Lab Photos, Graphics
· Daily COVID-19 Report
· Press releases regarding coronavirus
· Latest information on the coronavirus
· Photos of the state’s lab in Exton (for download and use)
· Coronavirus and preparedness graphics (located at the bottom of the page)
· Community preparedness and procedures materials
All Pennsylvania residents are encouraged to sign up for AlertPA, a text notification system for health, weather, and other important alerts like COVID-19 updates from commonwealth agencies. Residents can sign up online at www.ready.pa.gov/BeInformed/Signup-For-Alerts.
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