November 11, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

POMA continues to monitor the changing information surrounding the spread of COVID-19.

In an effort to provide accurate and helpful information to POMA members, we have gathered some of the resources we are finding to be most useful and accurate at this time. We hope this helps you in staying on top of the latest developments in the spread of the disease and in helping your patients.

Stay safe and healthy!


New Headlines

POMA Teams Up with for PPE Discounts

POMA is excited to announce our new partnership with to help our members acquire proper PPE supplies.  Launched in South Carolina, ActionPPE has supplied over 2.6 million units of PPE to members of over 20 state medical organizations through a reputable and certified supplier.  By pooling resources, POMA members receive a 5% discount on PPE orders when they use the discount code POMA-SAVE5. Product details and certificates for masks, gowns, gloves, face shields, etc. are provided on the site with most items in-stock and shipping directly to your office.

Pfizer Announces COVID-19 Vaccine is Looking 90% Effective

Pfizer Inc. said Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine may be a remarkable 90% effective, based on early and still incomplete test results. 

Pfizer, which is developing the vaccine with its German partner BioNTech, now is on track to apply later this month for emergency-use approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, once it has the necessary safety information in hand.

Even if all goes well, authorities have stressed it is unlikely any vaccine will arrive much before the end of the year, and the limited initial supplies will be rationed.

Read more>>

Pennsylvania COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring Dashboard Update

On Monday, Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine released a weekly status update detailing the state’s mitigation efforts based on the COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard highlighting a seven-day case increase of 15,989 cases; the previous seven-day increase was 13,486 cases, indicating 2,503 more new cases across the state over the past week compared to the previous week.


DOH Discusses Plans for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Dr. Rachel Levine, secretary, Department of Health (DOH), held a media briefing last week to discuss Pennsylvania’s plans to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available.

Sec. Levine explained that the federal government, specifically the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), plays a critical role in distribution and administration of a vaccine. She said there is no date for when any of the vaccines will be available but the department is actively preparing to be able to receive, store, distribute, and administer the vaccine or vaccines in Pennsylvania. Sec. Levine also discussed that they anticipate the COVID-19 vaccine to work similarly to the flu vaccine in that it will help prevent the  virus and that many who get the vaccine will not contract COVID-19, but some people will. It is hoped that if some one does contract it, the symptoms won't be as severe or last as long.

Sec. Levine explained that Pennsylvania’s plan will be broken up into three phases. “In the first phase we are going to be distributing the vaccine to health care workers in many settings and those working with our most vulnerable populations, other essential workers on the frontline of the pandemic, and those most vulnerable to COVID-19. We will be getting information from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) from the CDC and we will be prepared to adjust our current plans depending on which vaccine or vaccines receive the EUA,” she stated.

Wolf Administration Discusses Work Of COVID-19 Regional Response Health Collaboratives To Strengthen Support For Long-Term Care Facilities

Last week, Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller discussed support the Wolf Administration is providing for long-term care facilities through the Regional Response Health Collaborative (RRHC) program, a statewide program providing clinical, operational, and educational support to long-term care facilities preparing for or facing outbreaks of COVID-19 at their facility. 

The RRHC program was designed to bolster Pennsylvania’s support for long-term care facilities and their residents and staff. Launched in late July, the RRHC program was established to provide clinical support, technical assistance, and education to long-term care facilities as they work to prevent and mitigate spread of COVID-19. The RRHCs are available 24/7 to support the nearly 2,000 nursing facilities, personal care homes, assisted living residences, and private intermediate care facilities in Pennsylvania and the residents they serve. Eleven health systems were selected to serve six regions across Pennsylvania.

Read more>>

 Previously Published but Relevant Headlines

It's Time to Get the Flu Vaccine!

The CDC is promoting the 2020-2021 flu vaccine to help protect yourself, your family and your community from flu. A flu vaccine this season can also help reduce the burden on our healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and save medical resources for care of COVID-19 patients. Now is a good time to get a flu vaccine.​

Learn more>> 

COVID-19 Vaccine Providers

In anticipation of the availability of a safe and effective vaccine as early as October 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of Health will be sending a more formal invitation in the coming days and weeks to consider enrolling as a COVID-19 vaccine provider.  Existing partners who may already be a part of Pennsylvania's Immunizations Program (i.e. Vaccines for Children) as well as new partners, will be welcome. The plan for vaccine distribution includes a three-phased structure to correspond with the expected availability of doses. Therefore, there may be taking a targeted approach to COVID-19 Vaccination Provider enrollment.

More info►

Pennsylvania Suspends Licensing Requirements

Due to COVID-19, Governor Wolf has granted a number of temporary waivers for health care professionals to increase the available number of practitioners in the Commonwealth and reduce barriers to temporary licensure. Following are a list of waivers relevant for osteopathic physicians:

Click here for a complete list of suspended licensing regulations. For all licensing-related inquiries, please use the email addresses found here to contact the appropriate licensing board.

Updated Pennsylvania Coronavirus Links: Press Releases, State Lab Cases, Graphics, Resources

Daily Briefings and Updates from Pa. Governor Wolf and Secretary Levine

Resources from the CDC

The CDC has provided guidance and resources for healthcare providers, healthcare facilities, laboratories, as well as information for schools and childcare, businesses and employers, community and faith-based organizations, and the general public. Visit the CDC COVID-19 webpage for more information.

POMA will continue monitoring COVID-19 and provide updates and recommendations from PA-DOH, the CDC, the WHO and local health agencies. POMA's COVID-19 webpage and social media channels will be updated as information is shared from these organizations.

If you have any comments or questions for POMA, please email us at [email protected]

Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association | 1330 Eisenhower Boulevard, Harrisburg, PA 17111
(717) 939-9318 |