January 26, 2022

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

Federal Government Offers Free COVID-19 Tests and N-95 Masks

Last week, the Biden administration announced the rollout of a website where households can order four free at-home COVID-19 tests in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19.

Additionally, they announced they would be distributing 400 million high-quality N-95 face masks to Americans in the coming weeks. The White House said N95 masks will be available for the public to pick up at tens of thousands of locations such as many pharmacies and other sites that offer COVID-19 vaccines.

The masks will come from the Strategic National Stockpile, the country’s emergency reserve of medical supplies. For much of 2020, the stockpile faced major shortages of personal protective equipment, but in recent months, N95s have become more widely available.

Pa. Lawmakers Gave Final Approval Today on $225 Million Relief Package for Hospitals

Pennsylvania lawmakers voted this afternoon to give final approval on a $225 million relief package for hospitals stretched thin by COVID-19. The bill has been sent to Governor Wolf for his signature and he is expected to sign it.

The legislation is aimed at helping hospitals to deal with a staffing crisis that's been made worse by the pandemic by providing them with more money for recruitment and retention programs at a time when retirements and stress are causing nurses to leave.

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 January 26th, 18,126,396 total doses have been administered, including 272,327 booster doses and 22,076 pediatric doses.

There are 7,083,545 fully vaccinated people in Pennsylvania. According to the CDC, as of January 26th, 75.3% of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated. 

CMS Updates

New updates on program guidance and information about CMS's response to COVID-19.

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 | www.poma.org