Where Are You in the Line for the COVID-19 Vaccine?
Pennsylvania has modified its vaccination plan to add more people to the next group to get the shot.
There are now four phases to Pennsylvania’s plan to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine to all Pennsylvanians who want it and your age, health and occupation will determine your place in line.
Gov. Tom Wolf and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levin announced Friday the fourth iteration of the plan that now includes more essential workers in the earlier phases.
“It will take several months before there is vaccine available for everyone,” said Levine. “We have said that some time, maybe late spring, certainly by the summer, we will be able to go on to Phase 2, or the general public.”
The state is currently Phase 1A which includes:
Long-term care facility residents and health care personnel including, but not limited to:
- Emergency medical service personnel
- Nursing assistants
- Dental hygienists
- Pharmacy technicians
- Health professions students and trainees
- Direct support professionals
- Clinical personnel in school settings or correctional facilities
- Contractual HCP not directly employed by the health care facility
- Persons not directly involved in patient care but potentially exposed to infectious material that can transmit disease among or from health care personnel and patients
Wolf and Levine said they can’t predict when the state will be able to move beyond Phase 1A.
“Most of the vaccine distribution process is controlled by the federal government and unfortunately, that means there are a lot of unknowns,” Wolf said.
For instance, it’s not clear when vaccine shipment will arrive or in what quantity.
“We are dependent on information from the federal government, and sometimes this information changes – definitely daily, and sometimes hourly,” said Randy Padfield, director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.
Phase 1B includes:
- People ages 75 and older
- People in congregate settings not otherwise specified as LTCF and persons receiving home and community-based services
- First responders
- Correctional officers and other workers serving people in congregate care settings not included in Phase 1A
- Food and agricultural workers
- U.S. Postal Service workers
- Manufacturing workers
- Grocery store workers
- Education workers
- Clergy and other essential support for houses of worship
- Public transit workers
- Individuals caring for children or adults in early childhood and adult day programs
Phase 1C includes:
- People ages 65-74
- People aged 16-64 with high risk conditions causing increased risk for severe disease
- Essential workers in these sectors:
- Transportation and logistics
- Water and wastewater
- Food service
- Housing construction
- Finance, including bank tellers
- Information technology
- Energy, including nuclear reactors
- Legal services
- Federal, state, county and local government workers, including county election workers, elected officials and members of the judiciary and their staff
- Public safety
- Public health workers
Phase 2 includes:
- All individuals not previously covered who are 16 and older and do not have a contraindication to the vaccine (note that at this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech product is approved for those age 16 and 17)