Stars and Stripes stripes.com 31 Dec, 2020 16:30 am

After taking risks to see patients all year, Pa. private doctors have been largely left out of the vaccination process

After taking risks to see patients all year, Pa. private doctors have been largely left out of the vaccination process
Doctors, nurses, and staff at private practices and clinics across Pennsylvania have been left guessing when they would get access to a COVID-19 vaccine, even as they regularly interact with patients infected with the coronavirus.

" Rachel Levine, the state's health secretary, issued the first guidance Wednesday for about 450,000 health-care workers in Pennsylvania not employed by hospital systems.It is less certain whether the order will help health-care workers who do not maintain a regular relationship with a hospital system, Silbert said." Philadelphia's Public Health Department, which has its own vaccine allotment separate from the state, has asked health-care workers not primarily employed by a hospital to fill out a registration form to get instructions on how to make an appointment for vaccination in mid-January.Silbert would like to see the state follow Philadelphia's approach, also in place in Allegheny County, so nonaffiliated health-care workers are accounted for and get doses.

Vaccine distribution began in Pennsylvania this month with the first shots largely going to health-care workers and some long-term care facility residents, but already the logistics are tangled.Since health-care workers became eligible for vaccine doses, some private physicians have been left to call in favors or scramble to get inoculated.

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