November 24, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

POMA continues to monitor the rapidly 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

CDC Expands Eligibility for COVID Vaccine Boosters to All Adults

On Friday, November 19, 2021, the CDC expanded recommendations for booster shots to include all adults ages 18 years and older who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine at least six months after their second dose.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH said “Booster shots have demonstrated the ability to safely increase people’s protection against infection and severe outcomes and are an important public health tool to strengthen our defenses against the virus as we enter the winter holidays. Based on the compelling evidence, all adults over 18 should now have equitable access to a COVID-19 booster dose.”

To find a vaccine provider near you, visit

Pennsylvania Physician General and Pediatricians Discuss Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine

Earlier this month, Pennsylvania's Physician General, Dr. Denise Johnson, led a discussion about the COVID-19 vaccine available for children ages 5-11. The event, Vax Facts: Facts About Pediatric Vaccines, is the latest in a series aimed at providing relevant and accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines and addressing questions. Dr. Johnson was joined by Dr. Trude Haecker, president of the PA Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Dr. Swathi Gowtham, board-certified pediatric infectious disease physician from Danville.

The full video and information about the panelists can be found on PAcast.

CMS Changes Nursing Home Visitation Guidance

Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) revised their guidance for nursing home visitation. The update allows for visitation for all residents at all times. Together with infection prevention safeguards, this guidance promotes resident health and ensures continued safety for residents, visitors and staff.

Read the memo in its entirety 

Pennsylvania Sees Rise in COVID-19 Cases

The Pennsylvania Department of Health reports an increase in positive cases of COVID-19, as well as an increase in hospitalizations. As of November 24, the statewide percent positivity for the week of November 12-18 is 11.7%. The full 14-day moving average since the start of the pandemic can be found here.

Pennsylvania's COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Pennsylvania is currently administering the Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination numbers for Pennsylvania do not include Philadelphia, which is its own jurisdiction, or federal facilities, which are working directly with the federal government.

According to the PA Department of Health, as of November 24th, 15,070,162 total doses have been administered, including 1,379,039 additional shots for immunocompromised individuals and booster shots. In addition, 130,449 pediatric vaccine doses (ages 5-11) have been administered. There are 6,582,165 fully vaccinated people in Pennsylvania with a seven-day moving average of more than 50,414 people per day receiving vaccinations.

According to the CDC, as of November 24th, 73.7% of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated. Pennsylvania ranks 5th among all states for total doses administered.

Resources for the Holiday, Travel and Flu Season

The holiday season is quickly approaching! The CDC is providing several resources to help everyone enjoy holiday traditions and protect your health: 

PA Health Alert Network (PA HAN) - Health Alerts, Advisories and Updates

Previously Published but Relevant Headlines

Become a COVID-19 Vaccine Provider

POMA is working with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) to spread the word that YOU can become a COVID-19 vaccine provider!

Several months ago, Pennsylvania's Acting Physician General Denise Johnson, MD spoke about the DOH's current vaccine objective, pivoting from larger/mass vaccination sites to community physician practices. Enroll as a provider and administer the vaccine in your office - click here to access the enrollment form.

Read the full message from Dr. Johnson regarding this important initiative and how you can keep your community healthy.

PA DOH Video Resource About COVID Vaccine Safety

The Pennsylvania Department of Health Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Director of the Vaccine Education Center and Professor of Pediatrics Dr. Paul Offit have developed a video resource for Pennsylvanians to answer questions about COVID vaccine safety. The video includes a review of the vaccine approval process through the FDA, including the Emergency Use Authorization. They also discuss information on the increasing scientific data on the safety of vaccines for children and pregnant women and the effectiveness of the vaccine against variants, with a highlighted focus on effectiveness against the delta variant.

Dr. Johnson said "With so much information and misinformation out there, access to reliable and trusted sources can help you make the best decision for you and your family... It's essential that we continue to inform and educate Pennsylvanians about the COVID-19 vaccines, because good information leads to good decisions."

Anyone can access and share this video resource on Facebook or PAcast.

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

Briefings and Updates from Pa. Governor Wolf and the Department of Health

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 |