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COVID-19 Briefs for June 7, 2021

The following are COVID-19 Briefs for June 7, 2021.

NYSIIS/CIR: The state Department of Health (DOH) has posted reminders about submitting vaccine information to the NYS Immunization Information System (NYSIIS) or Citywide Immunization Registry/CIR (for NYC providers) and the use of the Excelsior Pass. 

Some of the information includes: 

  • NYSIIS or CIR access is required to submit requests for vaccine, manage COVID-19 vaccine inventory, and report doses administered.
  • All COVID-19 vaccine providers in New York State, including those located New York City and those participating in federal programs, must accurately and completely report doses administered to NYSIIS or CIR within 24 hours of vaccine administration per Executive Order 202.82, as extended.

EEOC Technical Assistance

Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) posted updated and expanded technical assistance addressing questions arising under the federal equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws as they relate to vaccinations.

The EEOC also posted a new resource for job applicants and employees explaining how federal employment discrimination laws protect workers during the pandemic. 

Updates include the following: 

  • Federal EEO laws do not prevent an employer from requiring all employees physically entering the workplace to be vaccinated for COVID-19, so long as employers comply with the reasonable accommodation provisions of the ADA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other EEO considerations. Other laws, not in EEOC’s jurisdiction, may place additional restrictions on employers. From an EEO perspective, “employers should keep in mind that because some individuals or demographic groups may face greater barriers to receiving a COVID-19 vaccination than others, some employees may be more likely to be negatively impacted by a vaccination requirement.
  • Federal EEO laws do not prevent or limit employers from offering incentives to employees to voluntarily provide documentation or other confirmation of vaccination obtained from a third party (not the employer) in the community, such as a pharmacy, personal health care provider, or public clinic. If employers choose to obtain vaccination information from their employees, employers must keep vaccination information confidential pursuant to the ADA.
  • Employers that are administering vaccines to their employees may offer incentives for employees to be vaccinated, as long as the incentives are not coercive. Because vaccinations require employees to answer pre-vaccination disability-related screening questions, a very large incentive could make employees feel pressured to disclose protected medical information.
  • Employers may provide employees and their family members with information to educate them about COVID-19 vaccines and raise awareness about the benefits of vaccination.

CDC Resource for Direct Support Providers

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created a one-pager for Direct Support Providers called “Direct Support Providers: Get Vaccinated to Protect Yourself and Those You Care For from COVID-19.” 

CDC Work Group on Vaccination Safety Reports on Myocarditis and Pericarditis

CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Technical Work Group has reviewed post-authorization COVID-19 vaccine safety data on a weekly basis since the start of the COVID-19 vaccination program in the U.S. At its May 17 meeting, the Work Group concluded that there are relatively few reports of myocarditis and pericarditis to date and that these cases seem to occur: 

  • Predominantly in adolescents and young adults
  • More often in males than females
  • More often following dose 2 than dose 1
  • Typically within 4 days after vaccination

Most cases appear to be mild, and the condition often goes away without complications and can be caused by a variety of viruses, the work group said. Follow-up on the reported cases and further study of this potential adverse event are ongoing.  

CDC monitoring systems have not found more cases of myocarditis and pericarditis than could be expected in the population, but members of the work group urged health care providers to be aware of the reports of this potential adverse event. More information is here. 

CDC Updated Guidelines on J&J Vaccine

CDC has also provided updated guidelines on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine