Sent on behalf of Jon Stallkamp, MD
Just two months after we began vaccinating our staff and a month after we began vaccinating our patients and community, I am happy to report that we have vaccinated over 25,000 people. While I know that each of you continues to receive calls from patients who have questions about our vaccine approach or when they will be vaccinated, I think that 25,000 people in our region vaccinated is an incredible accomplishment for our System and I appreciate your patience and partnership during this process.
As our efforts continue, I want to provide you an update on where we stand with vaccination criteria and distribution. First, I am happy to say that we have invited many patients of our independent physicians. Our goal is to distribute the vaccine equitably to private practice and MLHC providers, and we will continue to balance this need to ensure that our vaccinations are allocated equally to all medical staff.
As you may be aware, we are facing a shortage of Moderna supply following the mistaken allocation of second doses across the state. More information on this is available here.
At Main Line Health, we have been prudent in our vaccine allocation and our team has been diligent about ensuring first and second doses are separated and administered appropriately. As a result, none of our appointments will need to be canceled or rescheduled due to supply issues.
However, as the state seeks to rectify these issues, we anticipate that we may not receive our standard Moderna supply over the next several weeks. With this in mind, we are moving slowly into our next phase of vaccination so that we do not overpromise supply.
When we can be sure that we have adequate vaccine supply to move to our next vaccination phase, we will do so as soon as possible. Our next vaccination phase will include several groups:
- Patients age 70 and older who have an active MyChart and have received care at a Main Line Health facility in the past two years
- Pregnant patients between 20-32 weeks EGA
- Patients on dialysis
- Cancer patients who are actively receiving chemotherapy
- Transplant patients and patients listed to be transplanted
The decision to vaccinate these groups as part of our next phase was made by the MLH Vaccine Ethics and Steering Committees. These committees were charged with providing a limited supply of vaccine to the highest risk population abiding by CDC and ACIP ethical principles to maximize benefits and minimize harms, promote justice, and mitigate health inequities.
As we move through these vaccination groups, we are also offering the vaccine to medically underserved groups. Our goal is to reserve 25% of the vaccines to the underserved communities to eliminate health disparities and continue our efforts to reach all demographics.
Our vaccine strategy will continue to evolve based on guidance from the DOH as well as supply.
As eager as so many patients are to be vaccinated, I know that you may also be approached by patients who have questions about the vaccines’ safety, risks, etc. and many of you and your staff have been fielding questions about MyChart access and adoption. With this in mind, we have created a provider toolkit (attached and available on Wellspring) to give you the information you need to answer these questions. The toolkit includes information about vaccine safety, instructions on accessing MyChart as well as some scripting to answer common patient questions. I hope that you’ll find this helpful and encourage you to share it with your staff.
Jon Stallkamp, MD
Interim Chief Medical Officer