Pennsylvania Dept. of Health Releases COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Phases
The Pennsylvania Dept. of Health released new phases for its COVID-19 vaccine distribution. There are 4 phases and the state has determined who should get the vaccine first, mostly by their occupation.
Here’s what the vaccine distribution order will be, based on guidance the state issued Friday.
4 Phases for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution in Pennsylvania
There are 4 phases but the state didn’t want to make too many people feel unimportant so there’s a Phase 1A, 1B, and 1C. And then there’s Phase 2.
Right now, Pennsylvania is in Phase 1A of its vaccine distribution and the state claims “COVID-19 vaccine doses are minimal” at this point.
“This means that not everyone will be able to be vaccinated right away,” the Dept. of Health reports on a vaccine FAQ page. “The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as large quantities are available. Several thousand vaccination providers will be available, including doctor’s offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals and Federally-Qualified Health Centers.”
The Dept. of Health also says that “it will take significant time” to get enough Pennsylvanians vaccinated to reduce the community spread of COVID-19 so much that it’ll stop telling people to maintain social distance and wear face masks.
Take a look at who’s included in the different phases:
- Long-term care facility residents
- Emergency medical services personnel
- Nursing assistants
- Dental hygienists
- Pharmacy technicians
- Health professions students and trainees
- Direct support professionals
- Clinical personnel in school settings or correctional facilities
- Contracted health care personnel (not employed by a healthcare 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”
- People ages 75+
- People in congregate settings that aren’t long-term care facilities “and persons receiving home and community-based services”
- First responders
- Correctional officers
- Workers severing people in congregate care settings not included in Phase 1A
- Food and agricultural workers
- US 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 or adult day programs
- People ages 65-74
- People ages 16-64 with high-risk conditions that cause higher risk for severe disease
And Phase 1C also includes so-called “essential workers” in these positions:
- Transportation and logistics
- Water and wastewater
- Food service
- Housing construction
- Finance (including bank tellers)
- Information technology
- Energy (including nuclear reactors)
- Legal services
- Federal, state, county, and local government employees (including elected officials and election workers)
- Public safety
- Public health workers
- “All individuals not previously covered who are ages 16+ and do not have a contraindication to the vaccine.”
One would think that Pennsylvanians over the age of 65 would be included in the very first phase of the vaccine distribution plan but that’s not the case.
The state does admit that plan is a work in progress
There is technically a Phase 3 to the vaccine plan. Right now the state says that’s when the “general public” can get vaccinated and there’s “no specific timeline as to when this will be.”
Images: PA Dept. of Health, Depositphotos
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