Department of Health Issues Order Requiring Skilled Nursing Facilities to Complete COVID-19 Vaccine Needs Survey

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HARRISBURG, PA – Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam recently issued a new Order requiring skilled nursing facilities to complete a COVID-19 Vaccine Needs Assessment Survey as a way to report essential information regarding vaccination uptake and needs in their facility. This data will inform the department’s approach to ensure all current and future residents and staff have continued access to COVID-19 vaccine, following the completion of the Federal Pharmacy Partnership.

“Skilled nursing facilities have been greatly impacted by COVID-19 since the beginning, as the virus spread rapidly within congregate care settings,” Acting Secretary Beam said. “After the federal government issued emergency use authorizations for select COVID-19 vaccine, we prioritized residents and staff within these facilities to get the vaccine to help slow the spread. We recognize the tireless efforts made by health care professionals throughout this current emergency, which is why it is necessary for skilled nursing facilities to work with us by providing the most accurate vaccination information so we can effectively manage vaccine supply for all current and future residents and staff.

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The Order, issued by the Acting Secretary, requires skilled nursing facilities to report information to the department to determine the status and facility needs for vaccination of residents and staff of skilled nursing facilities. The Order states:

  • All skilled nursing facilities licensed in the commonwealth must complete the initial, and any subsequent surveys.
  • Skilled nursing facilities must complete the required fields in the initial survey by March 23, 2021.
  • Due dates for responses to subsequent survey requests will be determined by the department, as needed.

All skilled nursing facilities in the commonwealth have had at least two vaccine clinics through the Federal Pharmacy Partnership with vaccine allocated by the department.  The Order will ensure that ongoing and new vaccine needs at these facilities, whether for new employees, new residents, or other circumstances, continue to be met efficiently with targeted allocations.

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“Demand for COVID-19 vaccinations has stretched the limits of the vaccine supply, both across the country and in the commonwealth,” Acting Secretary Beam said. “To continue to distribute the vaccine effectively and efficiently across Pennsylvania, it is important that we receive information about vaccine uptake and needs of all skilled nursing facilities.”

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