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Home Care and Hospice Vaccine Updates for March 8, 2021   

Below are several important updates on vaccination opportunities, resources, and planning efforts for home care workers and patients statewide, including some region-specific information.

New Eligible Groups Include Home-Delivered Meal Workers

New York State has added new groups who can receive the vaccine, including home-delivered meal program paid or unpaid workers — a group that HCA had advocated for inclusion. Other additions include regional food bank paid or unpaid workers, food pantry paid or unpaid workers, and hotel workers who have direct contact with guests.

Home Care Agencies Advised to Develop Waiting Lists

Throughout last week, regional vaccination hubs, local departments of health, hospitals, and other community partners have reached out to HCA and individual home care providers regarding vaccination of home care staff and patients.

Based on these discussions, HCA advises home care providers to create a waiting list of staff who have not received vaccinations and to also identify those patients who would like to receive a vaccination when it is available. This will facilitate a timely response to inquiries or outreach from vaccine planners for access.

We further encourage home care providers to consider registering with New York State to administer vaccinations if at all possible.

NYC Vaccination Efforts 

FDNY 

The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) is starting to provide in-home COVID-19 vaccinations (Johnson & Johnson) to eligible NYC residents who are “fully homebound” and do not already have access to a vaccination program. This will be expanded as more Johnson & Johnson-Janssen vaccines become available.

Individuals who believe they are eligible for an in-home vaccination can use the form here. The city will use this information to call back to further discuss eligibility for the program.

Mobile Health  

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) is partnering with Mobile Health to provide COVID-19 vaccinations for home care workers in New York City at Mobile Health’s clinic in Midwood (Brooklyn) and possibly at a Queens and/or Bronx site in the future.

Mobile Health is offering appointments at its Midwood site on the following days and times:

  • Tuesday and Wednesday, 2:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Home care agencies that already work with Mobile Health can register staff for vaccines through their employer portal. Otherwise, you need to e-mail accountmanagers@mobilehealth.net for access to the scheduling portal.

City-Run Sites

Another source for vaccinating home care staff are three sites located in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens that are set up for home care aides. NYC DOHMH is looking for home care agencies that can be trained as “authorized enrollers/user” to make appointments for their aides at these sites.

NYC DOHMH is seeking agencies that can schedule about ten to twenty appointments daily for more than a week. HCA members who are interested should contact Andrew Koski at akoski@hcanys.org by Tuesday, March 9.

For those sites, agencies will need to supply the home care agency name, number of staff, point of contact (name/email/phone), and preferred location(s):

  • Bronx — Bathgate Postal Station (4006 3rd Ave., Bronx, NY 10457)
  • Queens — Martin van Buren High School (230-17 Hillside Avenue, Queens, NY 11427)
  • Brooklyn — Teachers Prep High School (226 Bristol St, Brooklyn, NY 11212)

If your agency is unionized, you should contact the union about scheduling your staff at these sites.

NYC ‘Community Conversations’ Series in Multiple Languages: Please Share with Your Staff 

New York City DOHMH is hosting a series of community conversations about the COVID-19 vaccine that may be of interest for home care workers in several languages

Home care worker webinars from last week have now also been uploaded to New York City’s page on COVID-19 Information for Providers. Links also follow:

  • English (includes home care worker speakers)
  • Spanish (includes home care worker speakers)
  • Mandarin
  • Cantonese (from the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs)

Long Island Vaccine Readiness

Home care agencies whose staff have not been vaccinated on Long Island are being advised to create staff waiting lists so appointments can get scheduled once vaccination sites for home care workers are established.

Capital Region Vaccine Readiness

Albany County’s Department of Health has held discussions with some home care providers about vaccinating homebound elderly individuals. Meanwhile, agencies are being urged to enter the contact information of unvaccinated staff into the Albany County pre-registration site. Agencies serving the Capital Region are advised to go to capitalregionvax.org to stay informed.

Vaccination of Home Care Patients 

HCA has had discussions with numerous vaccination hubs about the deployment of home care providers and others to vaccinate individuals receiving care at home. Agencies who want to be involved in such work should contact their local vaccination hub (and Andrew Koski at HCA at akoski@hcanys.org). A list of hubs and contact information is on our COVID-19 resource page.

Johnson & Johnson-Janssen Vaccine 

The New York State Health Commissioner has sent a letter to vaccine providers about the federal Emergency Use Authorization of the Johnson & Johnson-Janssen vaccine. The letter advises vaccination providers to review the Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers Administering Vaccine and to provide the Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers receiving the vaccine.

Both New York State and New York City have started to receive the Janssen vaccine.

DOH on Friday also issued a COVID-19 vaccination program document package with updated forms, templates, and instructions regarding the Johnson & Johnson-Janssen vaccine.

It includes the following documents:

  • Guidance for the New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Program
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) EUA Letter of Authorization
  • New York State COVID-19 Immunization Screening and Consent Form
  • Information for Health Care Professionals about the Screening Checklist for the COVID-19 Vaccine
  • New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Storage and Handling Overview
  • New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Program Temperature Excursion Report
  • New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Program Guidance for Vaccine Transport and Tracking Sheet
  • New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Program Redistribution and Q&A