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.