There are only a few weeks until Pennsylvania is set to lift the mask mandate, despite still being short of getting 70% of adults fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Health experts say administering the vaccine at primary care providers may be the key in accelerating vaccination rates, especially at this point in the pandemic. Family Doctor, Matthew Zajdel believes this next step could be a great thing for the community.
“Earlier on it was important to get as many vaccines into arms as possible, as quickly as possible,” said Zajdel. “But now, the family doctor and primary care provider can play a role in identifying those subsets of the population who are still on the fence or might have some lingering questions or concerns that they want to discuss with their family doctor or primary care provider,” he added.
Having the COVID-19 vaccine available at PCPs could make people more willing to get vaccinated.
“Usually, your family doctor you have more of a rapport with and they can discuss it with you on more of an individualized level and address those individual concerns,” said Zajdel.
One hurdle originally associated with shipping and distributing the vaccine was the extreme temperatures it had to be stored in. But recently, the CDC changed the guidance on how to store these vaccine doses. Now, being able to store the vials in refrigerator temperatures for up to 31 days as opposed to the originally proposed temperatures between -112 to -76 degrees Fahrenheit.
“So that will definitely makes it more practical and you should be able to utilize it more,” said Zejdel.
It’s unknown as to when vaccines will start being delivered to doctor’s offices, but Zajdel says doctors will be ready.
“I think the logistics of sorting it out will be a small hurdle but, family physicians are accustomed to administering and providing vaccinations,”