DOH Issues Revised COVID-19 Vaccination Guidance

Early this morning, DOH posted on the Health Commerce System a new guidance document regarding COVID-19 Vaccination. The document appears to be directed to vaccination of OPWDD, OMH and OASAS facilities. However, contrary to the guidance released over the weekend on which HCP reported yesterday, this new guidance provides that home care workers, hospice workers, and consumer-directed personal care workers are eligible this week.

As we all know from past experience, the state of planning for COVID-19 is very fluid. This is also very true for vaccination roll-out with things changing almost hour by hour.

HCP is continuing to advocate for home care vaccine availability. To that end HCP is in contact with DOH to get clarification about this latest guidance. If true, and we are hearing from some providers that they have been able to begin the process of getting their staff vaccinated, there are several issues we are raising with government officials. For example, some of the vaccine registration materials do not reflect home care as an option to enroll for vaccination; many vaccination sites have no availability; there is little understanding of what the options are for alternative vaccination sites; and how is scheduling to be accomplished.

In his update today, the Governor talked about vaccine availability through pharmacies. HCP is urging that this be made an option for home care and will report back as to the availability of that option.

Likewise, given the serious consequences for providing vaccinations to those that are not eligible, inconsistent guidance is frustrating the process.

Unlike yesterday’s guidance which listed vaccination sites for home care as “to be determined”, today’s guidance lists vaccination sites for home care as Hospitals, Urgent Care Centers, FQHCs or enrolled vaccination providers, including Local Health Departments for outside NYC and enrolled vaccination providers, including local points of distribution sites inside NYC.

HCP will continue to follow and report as details become available.

Continue to monitor your weekly HCP Insider and News Alerts for guidance and vaccination news. The COVID-19 immunization situation is very fluid, and HCP is advocating constantly on behalf of our members and home care workers to get both vaccinations and information to you as soon as possible. Contact [email protected] or [email protected] for comments or questions.

HCP To Hold Webinar to Address Vaccination Roll-Out

HCP will be holding a webinar for members to address frequently asked questions regarding the vaccine roll-out for home care and discuss concerns members are facing as they plan for vaccinating their staff.

This webinar will be recorded and made available to non-members in the future.

HCP Launches Take 5 to Fight COVID Video Series

HCP launched a series of short webinars to educate our members and their staff about the COVID-19 vaccine. “Take 5 to Fight COVID” will be released in segments over the next several weeks. The introductory segment is available now for viewing and sharing. Please share with your staff, colleagues, vendors, and on social media.

Clinical topics such as vaccine development and safety, efficacy and side effects, as well as access and monitoring will be outlined by HCP’s Associate for Public Policy, Carole Deyoe. Carole is a NYS registered pharmacist and certified immunizer with over 20 years of experience in patient care and education.

The video series will lay the groundwork for our members to help reduce vaccine hesitancy and maximize workforce protection from COVID-19 when our opportunity to be immunized is presented by the state.

In addition, HCP has posted New York State’s COVID-19 Vaccination Toolkit on our COVID-19 Vaccine Resource webpage which shares key messaging, sample social media posts, sample emails, and frequently asked questions.

Meanwhile, WASH your hands, WEAR your mask, and WATCH your distance. We’re in this together, and immunizations will ADD to our current efforts, not replace them.

Contact HCP Public Policy Associate Carole Deyoe [email protected] or Vice President Kevin Kerwin [email protected] with questions or comments.