Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

Adult Vaccine Funding: Important Information from Pennsylvania of Health

Section 317 funding, which refers to Section 317 of the Public Health Service Act, which authorizes the federal purchase of vaccines to vaccinate children, adolescents, and adults, has been extremely tight, thus limiting many orders. Per the PA Dept. of Health, the following outlines the status of 317.

  • We are currently out of all remaining 317 funds through the end of the current vaccine budget year ending September 30. We have no 317 vaccines available to distribute. Our vaccines budget follows the federal fiscal year which is from October 1 through September 30th. Although 317 funds are extremely limited, we are not experiencing any limitations with our VFC funds nor do we anticipate any issues.
  • We will continue to offer all vaccines in the new budget year from October 1 – September 30 but vaccines will continue to be limited. Our 317 funding has been static the last few years, and like everything else, vaccine costs have gone up. With the same overall budget, unfortunately, that means that we have to offer fewer vaccines overall to account for the increased cost. This also means that most likely, funds will run out within the first two weeks of each month.
  • We ask that when ordering 317 vaccines, please order the minimum amount needed to get through each month as quantities of everything will be limited. Most 317 vaccines are orderable in 10 doses minimum quantities aside from the following below:

Orderable in 5 dose quantities:

  • Heplisav-B (Hep B)
  • MenQuadfi (MCV4)
  • Menveo (MCV4)
  • Adacel (Tdap) – syringes only

Orderable in single dose quantities:

  • Td (all brands)
  • PPV23 – Pneumovax 23
  • Bexsero
  • Shingrix (NDC: 58160-0819-12)
    • Shingrix will be extremely limited as availability for next year was cut in half due to costs. We will only have 50 doses per month available to distribute amongst all providers. Order limits will continue to be limited to no more than 5 doses. Providers will not be guaranteed to get this vaccine each month. Ordering for this vaccine will be tracked as demand is higher than availability. If an order is filled for one particular provider one month, it may be 2-3 months before another order gets approved again for the same provider.


  • Currently, there are no imposed limits on the other vaccines but that could change if warranted.


DOH has been told that extra funds to help with their 317 programs will become available, however, a date has not been determined. Questions regarding 317 can be directed to

Updated COVID-19 Vaccines Providing Protection Against Omicron Variant Available at No Cost

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through CMS, announced that people with Medicare, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage, private insurance coverage, or no health coverage can get COVID-19 vaccines, including the updated Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines, at no cost, for as long as the federal government continues purchasing and distributing these COVID-19 vaccines. CMS issued four new CPT codes effective Aug. 31, 2022: Code 91312 for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent Product; Code 91313 for Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent Product; Code 0124A for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent – Administration – Booster Dose; and Code 0134A for Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent – Administration – Booster Dose. Visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Toolkit for more information, and get the most current list of billing codes, payment allowances, and effective dates. See the full news alert.

Uninsured Rate for Children Fell to 5% in 2021

Nationally, the number of children under age 19 without health insurance fell to 3.9 million in 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual report on health insurance coverageThis is 475,000 fewer children without coverage than in 2020. During the pandemic, Congress introduced measures to increase access to care by reducing the cost of Health Insurance Marketplace coverage and expanding Medicaid in some states. In Pennsylvania, the number of children on CHIP is 134,569 and Medicaid is 1,428,818. The number of children on Medicaid has increased 7.7% over the 20 – 21 reporting period.

A Legislation Introduced to Ban Abortion Nationwide after 15 Weeks

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced legislation to install a nationwide ban on abortion after 15 weeks. The message from some other GOP legislators on the issue is that they prefer it to be a state decision. Because of the Supreme Court’s recent decision on Roe, abortion currently is a state decision, leading to conflicting state laws which have led to both great variability as well as confusion, both on the part of physicians and other healthcare providers as well as consumers.

Free Whole-Person Care for Opioid Use Disorder Training Course

The Homeless and Housing Resource Center (HHRC) released a free Whole-Person Opioid Use Disorder Training Course for all interested individuals. This introductory course provides foundational information about the neurobiology and prevalence of opioid use disorder (OUD), the whole-person care framework and best practices, treatment, recovery support necessary for OUD, and maintaining housing stability for individuals with OUD. To learn more about the course and to register, click here.

Mental Health in Dental Professionals: The Pandemic & Beyond

The American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) have been conducting ongoing research to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on dentists and dental hygienists. Join the presenters on September 29th at 7 pm ET to discuss the findings of their study and the mental health challenges facing the oral health professional community.

Click here for more information and to register.

Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Foundation Offers Access to Care Grants

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) Foundation is awarding Access to Care Grants of up to $20,000 to support community-based initiatives that provide dental care and ultimately serve as a dental home to underserved and limited access children up to age 18. Eligible applicants include, but are not limited to, nonprofit organizations, local health jurisdictions, county health departments, hospitals and clinics, state government agencies, colleges and schools of dentistry or medicine, and national, state, and local dental societies. The application deadline is October 3rd.

Click here for more information and instructions to apply.

Pennsylvania State Data Center Publishes Data Updates

2021 ACS 1-Year Estimates Released

The U.S. Census Bureau today released a new set of estimates from the American Community Survey (ACS) for the year 2021, providing new data for a variety of demographic and economic topics for the nation, states, and other areas with populations of 65,000 or more.

PA remote labor force grew to over 1 million workers!

Over 1 million Pennsylvanians worked primarily from home in 2021, representing nearly 1-in-5 Pennsylvania workers (18.7%). This estimate is up from approximately 333,600 (5.4%) in 2019, meaning that the number of Pennsylvania workers who worked primarily from home tripled from 2019 to 2021.

Click here to access these reports and more.