March 23, 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

Moderna Announces Interim Results of Pediatric COVID Vaccine and Submits Additional Data to FDA

Earlier today, Moderna announced interim results of its COVID-19 vaccine for children younger than 6. The company said its two 25-microgram doses for children ages 6 months through 5 years old provided a similar immune response to two 100-microgram doses for adults ages 18 to 25, indicating that the benefit conferred to young adults is also conferred to young children. The two doses of vaccine are administered 28 days apart. The data is based on a group of 6,900 children ages 6 months through 5 years old. The majority of adverse reactions were mild to moderate with no deaths and no cases of myocarditis or pericarditis reported.

Based on the data, Moderna said it will ask the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to authorize the use of the vaccine in this younger age group in the coming weeks.

Moderna also announced that it has initiated submission to the FDA for emergency use authorization of their COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 through 11 years old. Children that age would get two shots of a larger 50-microgram version of the vaccine. They also provided the FDA with additional follow-up data on its vaccine for children ages 12 to 17, who would get two shots of a larger 100-microgram version of the vaccine.

Click here to read the full press release.

Wolf Administration Appropriates $225 Million to Support Health Care Workforce

In January, Governor Wolf signed Act 2 of 2022 into law, which supports the health care workforce and needs of hospitals and behavioral health providers. Today, the Wolf Administration shared details of the $225 million appropriation to support the following areas:

  • $100 million to be distributed to acute care, critical access, and children's hospitals licensed by the Department of Health on a per-bed basis. Funding will be used strictly for recruitment and retention payments to direct care staff.
  • $110 million to be distributed on a per-bed basis to high-Medical Assistance hospitals, designated as Critical Access Hospitals, and inpatient and residential behavioral health facilities for recruitment and retention payments to key staff.
  • $15 million to quadruple the funds available for the nurse loan forgiveness program at Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, a high-demand program which has already received more than 20,000 applicants by the March 1st deadline.

The legislation received bi-partisan support in the General Assembly. Funding will come from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

Pennsylvania's COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Pennsylvania is currently administering the Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine, the Spikevax (Moderna) 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 March 23rd, 18,802,648 total doses have been administered, including 3,279,353 booster doses since August 13, 2021 and 569,726 pediatric doses (aged 5-11) since November 2, 2021.

There are 7,289,295 fully vaccinated people in Pennsylvania.  According to the CDC, as of February 28th, 76.5% of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated.

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!

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 |