August 25, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

POMA continues to monitor the rapidly changing information surrounding the spread of COVID-19.

In an effort to provide accurate and helpful information to POMA members, we have gathered some of the resources we are finding to be most useful and accurate at this time. We hope this helps you in staying on top of the latest developments in the spread of the disease and in helping your patients.

Stay safe and healthy!


New Headlines

FDA Approves First COVID-19 Vaccine

On August 23, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee), for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older.

The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

CMS Expands Medicare Payments for At-Home COVID-19 Vaccinations

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is expanding opportunities for people to receive COVID-19 vaccinations in their home. Healthcare providers can now receive additional payments for administering vaccines to multiple residents in one home setting or communal setting of a home. This will help ensure Medicare beneficiaries who have difficulty leaving their homes or are otherwise hard-to-reach can receive the vaccination.

More information ►

COVID-19 Booster Shots to Roll Out Starting Next Month

Last week, top U.S. health officials announced a plan to begin offering COVID-19 booster shots to Americans starting Sept. 20. This new round of shots will be available to those who received the two-dose vaccine from either Pfizer or Moderna and can be taken eight months after an individual's second dose.

The more than 13 million Americans who received the one-dose shot from Johnson & Johnson may also need boosters, but will not yet be eligible.

The new booster rollout plan is subject to formal authorization from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine panel. Public meetings will be held before the booster rollout can begin.

COVID-19 Vaccines Additional Doses: Codes & Payment

The FDA amended the emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for both the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (PDF) and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (PDF) to allow for an additional dose in certain immunocompromised people.

Effective August 12, 2021, CMS will pay to administer additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines consistent with the FDA EUAs, using CPT code 0003A for the Pfizer vaccine and CPT code 0013A for the Moderna vaccine. CMS will pay the same amount to administer this additional dose as they did for other doses of the COVID-19 vaccine (approximately $40 each).  They will hold and then process all claims with these codes after they complete claims system updates (no later than August 27).

Learn more about Medicare COVID-19 vaccine:

Pennsylvania's COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Pennsylvania is currently administering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination numbers for Pennsylvania do not include Philadelphia, which is its own jurisdiction, or federal facilities, which are working directly with the federal government.

According to the PA Department of Health, as of August 25th, 12,060,033 total doses have been administered. There are 5,902,230 fully vaccinated people with a seven-day moving average of more than 17,380 people per day receiving vaccinations.

According to the CDC, as of August 25th, 65.1% of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated and Pennsylvania ranks 5th among all states for total doses administered.

Become a COVID-19 Vaccine Provider

POMA is working with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) to spread the word that YOU can become a COVID-19 vaccine provider!

This summer, Pennsylvania's Acting Physician General Denise Johnson, MD spoke about the DOH's current vaccine objective, pivoting from larger/mass vaccination sites to community physician practices.  Enroll as a provider and administer the vaccine in your office - click here to access the enrollment form.

Read the full message from Dr. Johnson regarding this important initiative and how you can keep your community healthy.

PA Health Alert Network (PA HAN) - Health Alerts, Advisories and Updates

Previously Published but Relevant Headlines

CDC Issues New Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People

On Wednesday, July 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new recommendations for fully vaccinated people given new evidence on the Delta variant.

The CDC now recommends for fully vaccinated people to:

  • Wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.
  • Wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised, at increased risk of severe disease or not fully vaccinated.
  • Be tested 3-5 days after a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until a negative test result is obtained.

The CDC also recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

Pennsylvania Offers Recommendations for Upcoming School Year

On Monday, July 26, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Education (PDE) offered recommendations to families and schools in preparation for in-person teaching and learning.

The DOH and PDE recommends:

  • All Pennsylvanians aged 12 and older to get their COVID-19 vaccinations before the new school year;
  • All K-12 school entities are advised to follow current CDC guidance to the greatest extent possible, when creating and implementing mitigation policies and practices.
  • Masks should be worn indoors by all individuals age 2 and older who are not fully vaccinated according to CDC guidelines. Schools may adopt stricter masking policies.

Read the full press release here.

Updated Pennsylvania Coronavirus Links: Press Releases, State Lab Cases, Graphics, Resources

Briefings and Updates from Pa. Governor Wolf and the Department of Health

Resources from the CDC

The CDC has provided guidance and resources for healthcare providers, healthcare facilities, laboratories, as well as information for schools and childcare, businesses and employers, community and faith-based organizations, and the general public. Visit the CDC COVID-19 webpage for more information.

POMA will continue monitoring COVID-19 and provide updates and recommendations from PA-DOH, the CDC, the WHO and local health agencies. POMA's COVID-19 webpage and social media channels will be updated as information is shared from these organizations.

If you have any comments or questions for POMA, please email us at [email protected]

Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association | 1330 Eisenhower Boulevard, Harrisburg, PA 17111
(717) 939-9318 |