COVID-19 FAQ Sheet for Long Term Care Facilities

The Immunization Program is preparing to roll out COVID-19 vaccine distribution to Philadelphia’s long term care facilities (LTCFs)! In conversation with our LTCF partners, we have heard many questions from residents and staff. It the vaccine safe? Is it effective? Will my medication interact with the vaccine? What are the side effects?

To help answer these questions, we have created a COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ Sheet! The FAQ sheet compiles the ten most frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine by LTCF residents and staff. Please download the file here and share it among your network.

Don’t see your question listed? Please visit the city’s COVID-19 webpage for more FAQs and updates about the vaccine. Thank you for all you do to help keep Philadelphia safe and healthy!

Medical Personnel COVID-19 Vaccine Contact Form for Philadelphia Residents

As our COVID-19 Vaccine Program rolls out across local pharmacies, clinics, and urgent cares all unaffiliated healthcare workers who reside within Philadelphia city limits can register to receive COVID-19 vaccine.

This form is only for medical personnel who live in Philadelphia. If you do not live in Philadelphia, please contact your county’s health department regarding their vaccine registration procedures.

We are working to get all medical personnel vaccinated in Philadelphia for Phase 1A. To prepare for this, we are collecting contact information from all healthcare workers (anyone with a patient-facing responsibility, including medical assistants, front desk staff, etc.) who live in Philadelphia.

This is a contact form, not a registration form. You will receive an email with registration instructions when our Pharmacy Partnership program launches.

Please fill out our contact form here!

 

Healthcare Workers Seeking COVID-19 Immunization

Healthcare Workers Seeking COVID-19 Immunization

To download a pdf copy of the document, please click here.

Immunization with a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is a critical component of the national strategy to reduce morbidity and mortality from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and to help restore societal functioning. While the goal is to offer COVID-19 vaccine to all people who wish to be vaccinated, there is currently a limited supply of vaccine available. Initial vaccination efforts are focusing on healthcare workers who have a high risk of exposure to the virus and are at risk of transmitting infection to vulnerable persons. Residents of longterm care facilities are also a top priority. If you are a healthcare worker with both a risk of exposure and a risk of transmitting COVID-19, you are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccination, as follows:

  • If you are affiliated with a Philadelphia hospital or health system, check with their Occupational Health Services to learn when vaccine will be made available to your practice.
  • If you are not affiliated with a hospital or health system, you will be able to receive vaccine through a local Pharmacy, Clinic, or Urgent Care. Access to vaccine at these sites will be appointment-based and for Philadelphia providers only. The ultracold storage requirements of Pfizer COVID vaccine makes this impossible to provide in these types of venues. When another product becomes available, it will be made available. Check back weekly for updates.
  • If you are not affiliated with a hospital or health system, and have a large practice (>100 employees), you may be eligible to receive a direct shipment of vaccine for your employees. To qualify for receiving shipped vaccine, you must: (1) be located in Philadelphia; (2) sign and submit the CDC Provider Agreement form at https://vax.phila.gov/index.php/covid-19/ ; and (3) be able to transmit electronic vaccine administration records to the city’s data system (submit inquiry to
    Philavax@phila.gov).

 

If you have any questions, contact our team at vaccines@phila.gov.

Enroll your site to be a COVID-19 Vaccine Provider

COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Agreement Form

Our COVID-19 Provider Agreement form is here!

All sites intending to distribute COVID-19 vaccine must enroll as a provider. All medical facilities who regularly provide vaccine are eligible to enroll into our COVID-19 vaccine program.

Please refer to our Provider Agreement Guide to enroll as a provider for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Please review the Provider Agreement Guide in its entirety before filling out the agreement form and survey.

The agreement and survey form can be accessed here.

If you have any questions, contact our team at vaccines@phila.gov.

ACIP Interim Recommendation for Use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

12/13/2020 The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ Interim Recommendation for Use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine — United States, December 2020. 

Below is a summary of the report. To read the report in full, please click here.

On December 11, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration issued an Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. On December 12, 2020, after an explicit, evidence-based review of all available data, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issued an interim recommendation for use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in persons aged ≥16 years for the prevention of COVID-19. The recommendation for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should be implemented in conjunction with ACIP’s interim recommendation for allocating initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccines.

Vaccinating Pregnant and Lactating Patients Against COVID-19

12/13/2020 Vaccinating Pregnant and Lactating Patients Against COVID-19

Below is an excerpt from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist’s (ACOG) recommendations for vaccinating Pregnant and Lactating Patients against COVID-19. To read the full article, click here.

ACOG Recommendations

Pregnant Individuals

ACOG recommends that COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant individuals who meet criteria for vaccination based on ACIP-recommended priority groups. While safety data on the use of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy are not currently available, there are also no data to indicate that the vaccines should be contraindicated, and no safety signals generated from DART studies for the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine. Therefore, in the interest of allowing pregnant individuals who would otherwise be considered a priority population for a vaccine approved for use under EUA, make their own decisions regarding their health, ACOG recommends that pregnant individuals should be free to make their own decision in conjunction with their clinical care team.

Individuals considering a COVID-19 vaccine should have access to available information about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, including information about data that are not available. A conversation between the patient and their clinical team may assist with decisions regarding the use of vaccines approved under EUA for the prevention of COVID-19 by pregnant patients.  Important considerations include the level of activity of the pandemic in the community, the potential efficacy of the vaccine, the potential risk and severity of maternal disease, including the effects of disease on the fetus and newborn, and the safety of the vaccine for the pregnant patient and the fetus. While a conversation with a clinician may be helpful, it should not be required prior to vaccination as this may cause unnecessary barriers to access.

Clinicians should review the available data on risks and benefits of vaccination with pregnant patients, including the risks of not getting vaccinated in the context of the individual patient’s current health status, and risk of exposure, including the possibility for exposure at work or home and the possibility for exposing high-risk household members. Conversations about risk should take in to account the individual patient’s values and perceived risk of various outcomes and should respect and support autonomous decision-making (ACOG 2013).

Pregnant women who experience fever following vaccination should be counseled to take acetaminophen, as fever has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Acetaminophen has been proven to be safe for use in pregnancy and does not appear to impact antibody response to COVID-19 vaccines.

Pregnant patients who decline vaccination should be supported in their decision. Regardless of their decision to receive or not receive the vaccine, these conversations provide an opportunity to remind patients about the importance of other prevention measures such as hand washing, physical distancing, and wearing a mask.

Lactating Individuals

ACOG recommends COVID-19 vaccines be offered to lactating individuals similar to non-lactating individuals when they meet criteria for receipt of the vaccine based on prioritization groups outlined by the ACIP. While lactating individuals were not included in most clinical trials, COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from lactating individuals who otherwise meet criteria for vaccination. Theoretical concerns regarding the safety of vaccinating lactating individuals do not outweigh the potential benefits of receiving the vaccine. There is no need to avoid initiation or discontinue breastfeeding in patients who receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Individuals Contemplating Pregnancy

Vaccination is strongly encouraged for non-pregnant individuals within the ACIP prioritization group(s). Further, ACOG recommends vaccination of individuals who are actively trying to become pregnant or are contemplating pregnancy and meet the criteria for vaccination based on ACIP prioritization recommendations. Additionally, it is not necessary to delay pregnancy after completing both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

If an individual becomes pregnant after the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine series, the second dose should be administered as indicated. If an individual receives a COVID-19 vaccine and becomes pregnant within 30 days of receipt of the vaccine, participation in CDC’s V-SAFE program should be encouraged (see below for more information on CDC’s V-SAFE program).

Importantly, routine pregnancy testing is not recommended prior to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

Stakeholder COVID-19 Vaccine Emergency Use Agreement (EUA) FAQ

12/11/2020 Stakeholder COVID-19 Vaccine Emergency Use Agreement (EUA) FAQ

The CDC has shared an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) FAQ for COVID-19 Vaccine Stakeholders. To view as a document, click here.

 

Will a prescription be necessary for a vaccine under an EUA?
As of December 9, 2020, no EUAs have been issued to authorize the use of COVID-19 vaccines. If EUAs are issued for COVID-19 vaccines, it is expected that those vaccines may be administered without the requirement for an individual prescription for each vaccine recipient from an authorized healthcare provider. Under an EUA, FDA has an option to waive prescription requirements, if appropriate, depending on the authorized product specifics, authorized use, and/or emergency circumstances. In addition to an EUA, other legal authorities and/or plans may apply to vaccine administration:

  • Legal authorities for relevant emergency response agencies (e.g., state, local, tribal and territorial health departments, healthcare professional licensing boards);
  •  Standing orders issued by a state health officer or applicable medical control officials or an executive order issued by a governor to authorize certain healthcare providers (e.g., nurses, pharmacists) to administer COVID-19 vaccine;
  • State COVID-19 vaccination and emergency response plans; and
  • DC’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program.

Does an EUA have any impact on standing orders?
Standing orders are a type of medical order authorized or allowed under state laws. They permit the delegation and delivery of healthcare services through standardized criteria and procedures. Standing orders are one mechanism to enable non-physician healthcare providers (e.g., nurses, pharmacists) to assess and vaccinate persons who meet the criteria for vaccination without requiring a direct, individual order each time.

During emergencies, states might use other legal mechanisms to facilitate vaccine administration, such as executive orders, emergency regulations, or position statements from licensing boards. FDA does not issue standing orders. However, it is expected that EUAs for COVID-19 vaccines would allow flexibility so that states could use their own mechanisms, like standing orders, to authorize appropriate healthcare providers to administer COVID-19 vaccine(s). States should review any applicable authorizations of certain healthcare providers to administer COVID-19 vaccine under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act Declaration for Medical Countermeasures against COVID-19 (e.g., qualified pharmacy technicians and state-authorized pharmacy interns acting under the supervision of a qualified pharmacist). It is also expected that vaccine administration would be in accordance with the stakeholder’s official COVID-19 vaccination and emergency response plans and that vaccination providers would be enrolled in the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program.

Statutes and regulations regarding the use of standing orders (or similar mechanisms) vary by state. States should review their statutory and regulatory language to ensure standing orders can cover the administration of an unlicensed vaccine that has been authorized by FDA for emergency use under an EUA. Specifically, states should ensure that state law does not preclude the use of standing orders for an investigational product authorized under an EUA. States should also ensure their state laws permit the administration of COVID-19 vaccines intended to be used under EUAs (i.e., the language of the state’s laws is either broad enough to include COVID-19 vaccines or specifically lists the COVID-19 vaccines, depending on how the state’s laws are written) and that COVID-19 vaccines are administered within the scope of authorized use under the applicable EUA.

Can a COVID-19 vaccine be administered to populations not included in the authorized use of the vaccine under its EUA?No. Use of any vaccine in populations outside the scope of its EUA

would be an unauthorized use of the vaccine. Each EUA issued by FDA will describe the scope of the vaccine’s authorized use, including populations (e.g., age groups) to which the vaccine may be administered. The scope of what is authorized under each EUA will be based on the available safety and efficacy data from populations studied in clinical trials.

In order for liability protections under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act to apply, the use of the vaccine must be under an appropriate regulatory mechanism (e.g., an EUA, investigational new drug application, or approved biologics license application). Therefore, if a vaccine is authorized for use under an EUA, any use beyond the scope of what is described in the EUA would not be eligible for applicable liability protections under the PREP Act or injury compensation available under the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program.

CMS Acts to Ensure Coverage of COVID-19 Vaccines & Therapeutics

10/29/20 CMS Acts to Ensure Coverage of COVID-19 Vaccines & Therapeutics
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) just released new Medicare payment rates for COVID-19 vaccine administration. The Medicare payment rates will be $28.39 to administer single-dose vaccines. For a COVID-19 vaccine requiring a series of two or more doses, the initial dose(s) administration payment rate will be $16.94, and $28.39 for the administration of the final dose in the series. These rates will be geographically adjusted and recognize the costs involved in administering the vaccine, including the additional resources involved with required public health reporting, conducting important outreach and patient education, and spending additional time with patients answering any questions they may have about the vaccine. Medicare beneficiaries, those in Original Medicare or enrolled in Medicare Advantage, will be able to get the vaccine at no cost.

Want updates sent right to your inbox? Email vaccines@phila.gov to join the Philadelphia Immunization Program’s COVID-19 vaccine mailing list.

Immunization Program Update: COVID-19 Edition

Immunization Program Update: COVID-19 Edition

By now you are likely hearing that COVID-19 vaccine could be available as early as the end of 2020 and you may be wondering what the Philadelphia Immunization Program is doing to prepare. You may also be wondering when your site is likely to get vaccine. This update will address these questions.

The Philadelphia Immunization Program is working hard to be ready to distribute COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available. Initially, vaccine availability will be extremely limited. We are planning a 3 phase approach to COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

  • Phase 1 will concentrate on high-risk populations in controlled settings. PDPH anticipates distributing vaccine primarily through Health System and Hospital Occupational Health Departments, community-based clinics serving vulnerable populations and critical workforce, and registration-based mass vaccination events.
  • Phase 2, COVID-19 vaccine will remain somewhat limited. PDPH will prioritize vaccinating persons who were identified as prioritized in Phase 1 but were unable to receive vaccine. Additional Phase 2 groups may include moderate-risk essential workers and additional persons at high risk of severe morbidity and mortality, including people with chronic health conditions. Vaccine will be distributed in Phase 2 through pharmacies, medical clinics, occupational health offices, community-based clinics, and registration-based mass vaccination events.
  • Phase 3, COVID-19 vaccine supply will be sufficient for the entire population. PDPH will create a broad vaccine administration network to achieve sustainable and equitable vaccine access across the city, including pharmacies, clinics, hospitals, and mass vaccination events. Recruitment of private healthcare providers to administer COVID-19 vaccine will be key to integrating immunization into routine medical practice.

How can my site enroll to be a COVID-19 vaccine provider?

  1. Attend a Town Hall hosted by PDPH. Learn about the vaccine, important dates, eligibility details, roll out plans, etc. See schedule here!
  2. Complete and submit an enrollment form. Provide PDPH with your provider information so that your eligibility can be assessed. Missing information will delay your application review.
  3. Await confirmation of approval. PDPH will review all applicants and select COVID providers based on the information you provide. Providers will be selected to administer vaccine during a certain phase (see Phase detail above).

To learn more, and see updates, visit our COVID-19 page here.

Needle Shortage

Is your site running low on needles?

The Philadelphia Immunization Program has heard about shortages of needles for vaccine administration. Especially 25 gauge, 1 inch, needles. If you are experiencing shortages or having trouble acquiring an additional supply of needles to meet your practices needs, please complete our survey. We are working to better understand the need throughout the city and identify ways to address the need to avoid missed opportunities.

Thank you for all that you do to keep Philadelphia healthy. The Immunization Program is here to support you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

VFAAR Vaccine is Available to Order

VFAAR vaccine is available to order.

In response to the unprecedented nature of this flu season, the Philadelphia Immunization Program is offering additional doses of flu to your site and our other FQHC partners. For this flu season only, both insured and uninsured adults would be eligible to receive these additional flu doses.

Contrary to our default policy of allowing only the truly uninsured to receive VFAAR flu doses, this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is making an exception to the screening requirement for flu only.

Why is VFAAR flu vaccine available to everyone?

The intent of removing the eligibility requirements for these federally funded doses is to ensure that everyone has access to flu vaccine. However, as providers, we ask you to follow the ordering algorithm below to ensure that throughout the flu season, you continue to have doses on hand for all your patients – especially the uninsured:

  • Use your existing privately purchased vaccine to vaccinate insured individuals.
  • Order a supply of VFAAR vaccines to vaccinate uninsured patients.
  • Do not miss opportunities. Vaccinate your patients with the most appropriate supply you have in stock.

Which supply of vaccine should I use?

If private doses are not available (because you’re waiting for your shipment or your supply is depleted), do not miss an opportunity; remember everyone is eligible to receive a dose from the VFAAR supply. And the VFAAR vaccines you use on private patients do not have to be replaced.

  • Do not charge anyone’s insurance for the cost of the VFAAR flu doses. This is considered fraud and could affect your ability to receive VFAAR doses going forward. You can charge patients’ insurance an administration fee for doses of VFAAR flu that are administered to insured patients.
  • Use the flowchart below to assist you with identifying the correct supply:

Order Today!

Remember to order VFAAR doses as needed throughout the season. If you have any questions about your VFAAR supply contact Jillian Brown at Jillian.Brown@phila.gov for assistance.

Visit our Flu Hub for information on what vaccines are available and access flu resources.

To place your first order, visit the 2020-21 Ordering Page.

Pentacel Formula Updated

The Pentacel formula has changed.

The formulation of Pentacel® (Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Acellular Pertussis Adsorbed, Inactivated Poliovirus and Haemophilus b Conjugate [Tetanus Toxoid Conjugate] Vaccine) has been updated. Sanofi changed the source of Inactivated Polio Virus (IPV) antigen from MRC-5-derived IPV (mIPV) to IPV that is derived from Vero cells (vIPV). This formulation of Pentacel retains the same dosing schedule, indication, safety, and immunogenicity data as the Pentacel formulation customers may use currently. Both formulations of Pentacel can be used to complete the series.

Pentacel formulated with Vero cell-derived IPV will include a different National Drug Code (NDC) number than the formulation you may use currently. It’s important to note the correct NDC number when receiving and administering the vaccine. The NDC number is listed on the outer carton, the vials, in the Prescribing Information, and on the shipment details you receive with your shipment.

Please work with your EHR/EMR to insure the that the new NDC is added to your system.

NDC CPT CVX
Pentacel (with (vIPV) 49281-0511-05 90698 120

Visit https://www.pentacel.com/ or contact Sanofi Pasteur at 1-800-VACCINE (1-800-822-2463) if you have additional questions about the prescribing information and formula changes.

If you have questions about ordering doses for your VFC patients, email our ordering specialists, Christine Wilson and Charma Miller.

How to order VFC/VFAAR flu vaccine for the 2020-21 season

How to order VFC/VFAAR flu vaccine for the 2020-21 season!

Please note, all flu vaccine from the 2019-2020 season must be accounted for before you can order flu for the 2020-2021 season. Guidance on accounting for remaining doses can be found here.

To place your first flu order…

  1. Complete a reconciliation. (If its been less then 2 weeks since your last reconciliation, email Christine and Charma to skip this step)
  2. Submit your temperature data since your last order.
  3. On the Vaccine Order page check the “Will this be an influenza order?” box.
  4. Order what your site needs for a 4 to 6-week period. Be sure that you have room in your fridge to store all of the flu and other vaccine you order.
  5. Check the status of your order 2 business days later in the PhilaVax IIS:
    • APPROVED: Your flu vaccine is on its way.
    • REJECTED: Click on view next to your order to review the notes from the VFC staff. Once all issues have been resolved, resubmit your order.

For additional flu orders, start with step 2. Additional flu orders do not require a completed reconciliation as long as a reconciliation has been completed in the last 60 days. Flu vaccine can be ordered as often as needed. There is no minimum time period between orders.

The Immunization Program will make every effort to fulfill your flu vaccine request. If flu product is available in limited quantity, your order may be reduced. If your order is reduced, a note will be added to the PhilaVax IIS comment box on the order page.

Flu vaccine may arrive separately from other vaccines even when ordered at the same time. The day you receive your flu order, log into PhilaVax IIS and electronically add the doses to your inventory. Contact us immediately if the temperature monitor indicates an out-of-range temperature when vaccines are delivered:

Updates

  • 8/17/2020 – Pediatric Flu Vaccine is Available to Order! A supply of FluLaval pre-filled syringes is now available to order for your VFC patients. In order to allow as many sites as possible to access flu vaccine at this time, initial orders will be limited to a max of 500 doses. Orders may be reduced based on usage in past years.
  • 8/20/2020 – A supply of FluMist intranasal sprayers is now available to order for your VFC patients.
  • 9/14/2020 – Adult Flu Vaccine is Available to Order! A supply of Fluarix and Flucelvax pre-filled syringes and Flumist intranasal sprayers is now available to order for your VFAAR patients.
  • 9/21/2020 – FluZone, prefilled syringes and multi-dose vials (MDVs), is now available to order for your VFC patients.

Have Questions?

Contact Christine Wilson at 215.685.6728 or christine.wilson@phila.gov, or Charma Miller at 215.685.6667 or charma.miller@phila.gov for assistance.

Thank you for keeping Philadelphia healthy by fighting flu! For more information about influenza in Philadelphia, visit our flu hub.

Return All 2019/20 Influenza Vaccine

Return all unopened seasonal 2019/20 VFC/VFAAR influenza vaccine.

All VFC/VFAAR influenza vaccine supplied by the Philadelphia Immunization Program during this past flu season has expired.Please account for unused VFC/VFAAR flu vaccine at your site using PhilaVax:

  • Process a return for the unopened vials online in the Vaccines Returns module
  • Complete an adjustment to account for open vials in the Inventory on-hand page

More information about reporting expired VFC/VFAAR vaccines is on the Immunization Program website.

Return your vaccine before July 24th

Please complete these steps by July 24, 2020 to avoid delays in processing your site’s 2020-21 flu season orders. If you have questions, contact DPHProviderHelp@phila.gov or call Mohan Najaraja (215-685-6872).

Vaccine available for the 2020-21 flu season

VFC

Product Manufacturer / NDC Eligibility Dose/ Presentation / Type CPT Code CVX Code Availability
FluLaval GlaxoSmithKline / 19515-0816-52 6 mos – 18 years 0.5 mL / single-dose syringe / inactivated, quadrivalent 90686 150 Yes
Fluzone Sanofi / 49281-0420-50 6 mos – 18 years 0.5 mL / single-dose syringe / inactivated, quadrivalent 90686 150 No
Fluzone Sanofi / 49281-0633-15 6 mos – 18 years 0.5 mL/ 5.0mL multi-dose vial / inactivated, quadrivalent 90688 158 No
FluMist1 AstraZeneca / 66019-0307-10 2 – 18 years 0.2 mL / intranasal sprayer / live, quadrivalent 90672 149 No

VFAAR

Product Manufacturer / NDC Eligibility Dose/ Presentation / Type CPT Code CVX Code Availability
Fluarix GlaxoSmithKline / 19515-0885-52 19 years & older 0.5 mL / single-dose syringe / inactivated, quadrivalent 90686 150 No
Flucelvax2 Sequirus/ 70461-0320-03 19 years & older 0.5 mL / single-dose syringe / inactivated, quadrivalent 90674 171 No

1 A limited supply of FluMist, the nasal spray, is available to order for your VFC eligible patients. Continue to order injectable flu products for most of your patients, and FluMist for your patients who refuse a shot.
2 A limited supply of Flucelvax is available to order for your VFAAR eligible patients who have egg allergies or requests an egg-free flu vaccine.

Don’t delay, return your expired vaccine now

It is difficult to anticipate exactly when flu vaccine will be available. However, the health department is committed to getting flu vaccine to our providers as soon as it arrives. To prevent delays, please complete your flu return today.

All communication about the availability of flu vaccine will be made via email and posted on our website. Keep you eyes open for upcoming messages! If you need to add more people to our mailing list, please contact us at vaccines@phila.gov.

Thank you for helping to protect Philadelphians this past flu season! We look forward to working together to keep people safe from the flu next season.

COVID-19 Conference Call Follow Up

Thank you to all the providers who joined our conference calls last month. Please review this summary of the strategies and resources we discussed to address the decrease in vaccination that has been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vaccinating during the pandemic

A number of practices shared what they are doing to safely offer vaccines during this time that we thought would be helpful for other practices. These measures include:

  • Communicating cleaning and other preventative measures with parents and guardians when scheduling visits.
  • Having all family members wear a mask to the visit.
  • Limiting the number of persons who accompany a patient for the visit.
  • Bringing patients straight to the exam room, avoiding any time in the waiting room. Some practices asked families to wait outside the office and called parents and guardians when they were ready to see the patient.
  • Scheduling vaccine appointments in blocks in the morning, separate from sick and other visits.
  • Using separate entrances for well and sick visits.
  • Offering vaccines in spaces that better lend themselves to social distancing. Examples of measures that practices implemented include offering vaccination curbside in the parent’s vehicle and using other rooms in the clinic such as conference rooms for vaccination that are separate from the exam rooms.

New resources

Several new resources have been developed in response to the feedback that we got from providers.

  • Take a few minutes to review the new Safer at Home website, a hub of re-opening guidelines and resources for Philadelphia. It includes the Guidelines for Outpatient Health Care Facilities guide, a plain language summary of rules for reopening in the Yellow Phase.
  • Offering PhilaVax Reminder Recall webinars to train vaccine coordinators and office managers on how to use this tool to identify patients who are due for a vaccination. The reminder recall has the functionality to aid with mailings and automatic dialing programs. The first training is scheduled for Wednesday, June 17 at 10 am. Register for the training here.

Coming resources

Based on the feedback that we received during our conference calls, we are working on several resources to support immunization services in your clinics. These include:

  • Resources for reaching out to parents, guardians, and patients to encourage them to come in for well visits and vaccination.
  • Guidance on implementing vaccination clinics that also allows for COVID social distancing measures. If your practice is considering a vaccination clinic, it is important to start thinking about the logistics and space now.

Keep an eye out for emails with these resources and they will also be posted on our website, vax.phila.gov. The Immunization Program looks forward to our continued partnership during this challenging time. See below for some steps you can take to keep your vaccine inventory stocked.

Ordering VFC vaccine

Please stay in communication with our program as changes that impact vaccination are implemented. Continue to do the following:

  • Let us know your plan for visits over the coming weeks when you place your order so that we can better match your current vaccine supply with projected usage.
  • Work with your staff who access vaccines to ensure that the vaccine coordinator is notified when you are running low on any vaccines in between orders.
  • Reach out to our program about vaccine needs as they arise. We can help ensure that you get the vaccines you need in a timely manner.

Our response to requests for vaccine is situation dependent. We consider many factors whenever a site requests vaccines. Do not hesitate to reach out because a previous request was denied.

Philadelphia COVID resources

Pediatric patients (0 – 18 yo) can be referred to CHOP for testing if you cannot offer testing at your practice. To refer a patient, your office should call Joani Schmeling at 215-685-6490 Monday through Friday between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm.

  • Have the following info available when you call: Patient name, Date of birth, Address, Parent / Guardian Contact information, Symptom and exposure information.

The city has several resources available to help providers during the pandemic.

 

Thank you for all you do to keep your patients safe and healthy!

Immunization Service Survey

Help us help you! Take our immunization service survey!

Dear VFC and VFAAR Providers

Thank you for your continuing service to your patients, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. Our team continues to provide core immunization services as we respond to the pandemic.

In order to better support you during this time, please complete this survey so that we can better understand your immunization needs at this time.

TAKE THE SURVEY NOW

 

We’re here to help!

If you have any questions regarding the following, we are here to help:

And, if there are changes at your office that will affect your ability to properly store and monitor your vaccines or your office will be closed in response to COVID-19, email TempCheck@phila.gov for guidance.

Sincerely,

The Philadelphia Immunization Program

Update for VFC & VFAAR Providers

Covid-19 Update for VFC/VFAAR Providers

 

 

 

 

To Our VFC and VFAAR Providers:

On behalf of the entire Immunization Program team, we want to thank you for your service to your patients, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. We also want to thank all the doctors, nurses, medical assistants, office staff, laboratorians, and clinicians that are tirelessly working to keep Philadelphians healthy. Covid-19 update for vfc.vfaar providers

 

As your partners in public health, the Immunization Program is committed, alongside you, to ensure that safe and viable vaccines are available to children and adults. All our PDPH Immunization staff are considered ‘essential personnel’ and are reporting for duty at the health department. Our staff are here to answer your concerns regarding the Vaccines for Children Program and the Vaccines for Adults at Risk Program. Although some of our routine services are limited while we respond to COVID-19, our core immunization services are operational (see list below). However, all in-person VFC and IQIP visits are cancelled until further notice. Our team will be reaching out to sites with scheduled visits to discuss next steps given these changes. We do ask for your patience while we juggle our routine job duties and the COVID-19 response.

 

If you have any questions regarding the following, we are here to help:

 

 

And, if there are changes at your office that will affect your ability to properly store and monitor your vaccines or your office will be closed in response to COVID19, email TempCheck@phila.gov for guidance.

 

Thank you for your ongoing confidence, partnership, and trust. The Immunization Program is committed to the well-being of Philadelphia’s residents and we are grateful for your support.

 

Sincerely,

 

The Philadelphia Immunization Program

2020 Enrollment Is Open! Enroll Today!

2020 Enrollment Opens Today!

The Philadelphia Immunization Program’s Vaccines for Child (VFC) & Vaccines for Adults at Risk (VFAAR) enrollment opens today! Log into PhilaVax and begin your enrollment right now!

Annual enrollment is required to receive federally funded vaccines regardless of if it’s your first year or hundredth! Enrollment will be open until February 28th. Don’t wait – enroll today!

To help you through enrollment, we’ve created the following materials…

Clinic Information Changes Cheat Sheet

Your sites contact information (ie staff, delivery hours and address) populates to the enrollment form. Get a head start on enrollment by updating your clinic information now. Our Clinic Information Changes cheat sheet breaks these changes down into simple steps. You can download our Clinic Information Changes Cheat Sheet here.

Enrollment Cheat Sheet

You can download our Enrollment Cheat Sheet PDF here. Our enrollment cheat sheet breaks down the enrollment process step by step. It also provides useful tips that will make your 2020 enrollment much easier. The Enrollment Form will be available in PhilaVax starting on Monday, February 3. Review the instructions today so that you know what to expect next week.

Contact us!

Have questions about enrollment? Having difficulties accessing the cheat sheets? Contact our Immunization Education Coordinators! You can email them at dphproviderhelp@phila.gov or call 215.685.6872 or 215.685.6490.

Being enrolled in VFC/VFAAR helps keep vaccines available to all Philadelphians. We strongly encourage you to log into PhilaVax and re​-enroll today! Don’t wait until the 28th!

2020 Enrollment begins February 3rd

2020 Enrollment begins February 3rd

Happy new year! The Philadelphia Immunization Program annual Vaccines for Children (VFC) and Vaccines for Adults at Risk (VFAAR) enrollment opens on Monday, February 3rd.

Start the new year off on the right foot. Complete your VFC/VFAAR enrollment on time.

This year’s enrollment period runs from February 3rd to February 28th. During this time all VFC/VFAAR sites must log in and complete the online enrollment. Annual enrollment is required to receive federally funded vaccines regardless of if it’s your first year or hundredth! Don’t wait until the end of February. Login and get started on Monday, February 3rd!