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NYC Home Care, Hospice Workers Included in Phase I as HCA Discusses Vaccine Logistics with City Officials

HCA today spoke with New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) immunization officials about logistics for COVID-19 vaccination of home care and hospice workers.

Notably, in response to our ongoing emphasis about home care’s vital patient care role, the city is including home care workers in phase I of its plan, along with other phase I workers (in hospitals and nursing homes) in New York City, consistent with advisory recommendations made at the federal level.

This puts home care and hospice workers in New York City among those at the front of the line for vaccination now that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first emergency use authorization application, by Pfizer.

While further details are expected to follow, HCA wanted to notify the membership of these developments promptly, as we may be reaching out to member organizations next week with information requests and/or further instructions to facilitate next steps in the vaccination rollout.

HCA is also coordinating a follow-up meeting with NYC DOHMH officials and partner associations next week on logistical details for home care worker vaccination, at which time we will likely have even further additional information.

Statewide Efforts 

While city officials have explicitly included home care workers in phase 1, the state’s intentions for home care outside of New York City are not as explicit. Public statements from the Governor’s office continue to stress prioritization of nursing home residents, nursing home staff, and “high-risk” hospital workers.

HCA and partner associations are pressing the case for home care prioritization statewide and will keep the membership apprised of these fast-evolving developments.

The rollout effort, which is just now beginning, depends on a number of variables, including production capacity and federal actions on the next vaccine candidate by Moderna lined up for emergency use authorization consideration. All of these variables could have an effect on the timetable and sequencing of vaccination priority.

Enroll Today in City and State Registries

Meanwhile, DOHMH reiterated that all home care providers in New York City should enroll now in the city’s online Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR) page here if you haven’t done so already. Providers should also review the following additional documents:

As HCA reported in an alert earlier this week, the state Department of Health (DOH) has a separate New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS) registry process and Health Commerce System (HCS) vaccination program enrollment process that all providers outside of New York City are encouraged to participate in. Details are here.

Please read Monday’s edition of the Situation Report and check your inbox next week for further updates.