The PDPH Immunization Program and the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) want to remind you that now is the time to prepare your patients for back-to-school. Pennsylvania law requires all students (K-12) to be vaccinated while attending school. Students that do not have the required vaccines may be excluded from school until they receive the appropriate vaccines.
Since the 2020 school year, national coverage with state-required vaccines among kindergarten students has continued to decline. To help you get your patients back on track with immunizations, schedule vaccination appointments now to get ahead of the back-to-school rush.
We have created a series of short video trainings to support your practice. The videos cover topics including school immunization requirements, the ACIP child and adolescent immunizations schedule, information on specific vaccines, vaccine interval spacing, and Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) reporting.
Click on the buttons below to view the training videos.
COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available for purchase on the commercial market and will be available to order through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program. We have created an FAQ and will host town halls to help with this transition.
Commercialization of COVID-19 vaccines will transition vaccines previously purchased by the U.S. government to established pathways of procurement, distribution, and payment by both public and private payers. The Bridge Access Program will support providers to vaccinate uninsured and underinsured adults 19 years of age and older in Philadelphia county.
Commercialization of COVID-19 vaccine is expected to take place in August or September 2023, with the exact timeline still forthcoming. Click the button below to read the FAQ and learn more about COVID-19 vaccine commercialization.
All VFC/VFAAR influenza vaccine supplied by the Philadelphia Immunization Program during the 2022-2023 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. A job aid with step by step instructions can be found here.
Adjust out open vials of Flu. A job aid with step by step instructions can be found here.
Return your vaccine before August 15th
Please complete these steps by August 15, 2023 to avoid delays in processing your site’s 2023-24 flu season orders. If you have questions, contact DPHProviderHelp@phila.gov.
All communication about the availability of flu vaccine will be made via email and posted on the PDPH website. Keep an eye out for upcoming messages! If you need to add more people to our mailing list, please contact us at email@example.com.
Thank you for helping to protect Philadelphians this past year! We look forward to working together to keep people safe from the flu next season.
COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available for purchase on the commercial market and will be available to order through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program. We do not have an exact date or timeline for commercialization, but we want to provide as much lead time as we can for our VFC providers about this upcoming change.
Commercialization of COVID-19 vaccines will transition vaccines previously purchased by the U.S. government to established pathways of procurement, distribution, and payment by both public and private payers.
What does this mean?
There will not be a separate COVID-19 Provider Program as currently exists.
All VFC providers will be required to maintain a supply of COVID-19 vaccine for the entire patient population they serve. As with other ACIP recommended vaccines, your practice will need to stock COVID-19 vaccine for both VFC eligible children and privately insured patients once commercialization occurs.
Your patients may not have access to COVID-19 vaccine elsewhere. Pharmacies are not authorized to vaccinate kids under 3 years of age, so your practice may be the only place your patients can get vaccinated.
A very low percentage (<20%) of kids 6 months – 4 years have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in Philadelphia, which means they may not be protected against severe disease and death from COVID-19.
Did you know?
You don’t need an ultra-low freezer to store COVID-19 vaccine! You can store COVID-19 vaccines in your regular storage units.
Providers should never turn down an opportunity to vaccinate for COVID-19 due to fears of vaccine wastage! We expect smaller packaging sizes of vaccine to be available this fall with commercialization.
Please be on the lookout for updated messages from the Immunization Program about commercialization throughout the summer. Have questions or concerns? Direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Philadelphia Vaccines for Children (VFC)/ Vaccines for Adults at Risk (VFAAR) annual re-enrollment period is now open!
Sites enrolled in VFC and/or VFAAR must submit a re-enrollment form by June 30th in order to continue to participate in these programs. Follow these 3 easy steps, for a smooth re-enrollment!
1. Complete this survey Your answers will help us better support you throughout the next year. A submission is required to complete re-enrollment for your site.
2. Update Clinic Tools Update the information indicated for your site in the Clinic Tools, Clinic Information module. Use these job aids to guide you through making needed changes to the clinic tools page:
The vaccine coordinator and medical director must log into the PhilaVax IIS to access, complete and sign the electronic re-enrollment form. If you have not completed the 2023 User Confidentiality Agreement to renew your account or do not have a PhilaVax user account, use the link below to complete it now.
Vaccine Temperature Monitoring: New Paper Temperature Logs Available
To ensure that the vaccine at your site is viable when administered to patients, consistent temperature monitoring is an important part of participating in the program. Our program requires sites to maintain active and passive monitoring. The passive monitoring is recorded by the Digital Date Logger (DDL) and reported to our program regularly. The active monitoring is recorded on the paper temperature logs.
The vaccine information statements (VIS) for hepatitis B and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) including Prevnar 13, Vaxneuvance, and Prevnar 20 have been updated. Access the updated documents below:
The Philadelphia Vaccines for Children (VFC)/ Vaccines for Adults at Risk (VFAAR) annual re-enrollment period will take place June 1 – 30, 2023. For the fourth year, the enrollment will be done electronically through PhilaVax.
To get your site ready for re-enrollment, complete these steps now.
1. Update Clinic Tools Review the information indicated for your site the Clinic Tools, Clinic Information module. Use these job aids to guide you though making needed updates to the clinic’s:
2. Make sure you have the access to PhilaVax you need. The vaccine coordinators and medical director must log into the PhilaVax IIS to access, complete and sign the electronic re-enrollment form. If you have not completed the 2023 User Confidentiality Agreement to renew your account or do not have a PhilaVax user account, use the link below to complete it now.
If you have a PhilaVax account and need to update your password, you can email PhilaVax@phila.gov for assistance.
Additional information and instructions will be communicated closer to the start of the re-enrollment period. Re-enrollment is a requirement for the VFC/VFAAR programs. Failure to complete the re-enrollment form will result in un-enrollment.
Protecting Infants from Vaccine Preventable Diseases
National Infant Immunizations Week is April 24 to April 30 this year, serving as a reminder to protect infants in Philadelphia from vaccine preventable diseases.
Over the years, immunization providers in the United States have reached major milestones in protecting infants through vaccines. Through immunization, we can now protect infants and children from 15 vaccine-preventable diseases before age 2.
There are important updates to COVID-19 immunization recommendations for infants:
Previously unvaccinated: Children 6 months through 5 years of age who are unvaccinated may receive a two-dose series of the Moderna bivalent vaccine (6 months through 5 years of age) OR a three-dose series of the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent vaccine (6 months through 4 years of age).
Previously vaccinated:Children 6 months through 4 years who previously completed their full two- or three-dose monovalent Moderna/Pfizer COVID-19 primary vaccination series are now recommended to receive a dose of Moderna/Pfizer’s updated (bivalent) COVID-19 vaccine.
Children 6 months through 5 years of age who have received one, two, or three doses of a monovalent COVID-19 vaccine should receive a bivalent vaccine, but the number of doses that they receive will depend on the vaccine and their vaccination history.
Healthy People 2030
Philadelphia immunization providers have made measurable progress in infant immunization coverage. However, immunization rates fell during the COVID-19 pandemic, and have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.
In Philadelphia, vaccination coverage with 4 doses of the DTaP vaccine in children between 0 and 2 years old was around 84% in 2021.
Healthy People 2030 objective IID-06 is: Increase the coverage level of 4 doses of the DTaP vaccine in children by age 2 years. The target for this objective is 90%.
Philadelphia providers have an opportunity to increase immunization coverage for this metric to reach or exceed the target by 2030.
In addition to increasing DTaP vaccine coverage, Philadelphia providers can improve infant immunization coverage by focusing on addressing disparities.
Local data shows that influenza vaccination coverage among infants was lowest at 55.8% among the lowest income group in the data set, as compared with 84.3% among the highest income group in the set. In addition, influenza vaccination coverage was 61.2% among Black infants and 61.9% among Hispanic infants, as compared with 73.8% among white infants.
Rotavirus coverage was 65.7% among the lowest income group, as compared with 87.1% among the highest income group. Rotavirus coverage was 70.3% among Black infants and 69.8% among Hispanic infants, as compared with 84.1% among white infants.
Preexisting social determinants of health such as economic burden, lack of transportation, and lower rate of insurance coverage contribute to these disparities. However, immunization providers can use multiple strategies to close the gaps in vaccination coverage.
Strategies to increase vaccination rates among Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native communities include strongly recommending flu vaccination and making culturally appropriate vaccine recommendations (e.g. using materials with images representative of those in the community, addressing community-specific concerns and misinformation, and using the predominant language spoken in the community, such as Spanish).
Providers can also work toward increasing vaccination coverage among low-income populations by using evidence-based strategies such as immunization reminders, standing orders to provide vaccination whenever appropriate, and immunization information systems. Additionally, review immunization schedules with parents at the child’s first visit to show vaccines that are upcoming.
Improving communication between providers and patients is crucial to increasing immunization coverage among infants in your office.