Vaccination Updates

Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced a new expansion of COVID-19 vaccine eligibility. Beginning today, March 22, individuals 50 years of age and older will be eligible.

DOH issued updated vaccination guidance last night reflecting this change. Providers other than pharmacies may vaccinate any eligible individual. Pharmacies must prioritize P-12 school faculty and staff and childcare workers, but are also authorized to vaccinate individuals age 50 and older and individuals with comorbidities and underlying conditions.

The other update in today’s DOH guidance adds the following language related to second doses:

“Limited circumstances may arise where individuals will need to receive their second dose at a different location than their first. Due to limited supply, each such circumstance must be evaluated to determine the most appropriate solution, including requiring the patient to return to original location if feasible, evaluating the impact of extending the interval between doses, or making arrangements for receipt of the second dose at a different provider. Providers who have determined that the individual cannot return to the location where they received their first dose should coordinate with the Hub Lead Hospital to find a provider who has extra second doses of the appropriate vaccine to vaccinate the individual.”

The previous vaccination guidance update was issued March 17. Changes from the March 10 guidance included:

• Removal of limitations on which eligible populations hospitals and LHDs/Counties can vaccinate;
• Language added stating they must make efforts to vaccinate the most vulnerable, including those with comorbidities or underlying conditions and age 60+;
• Pharmacies must continue to vaccinate age 60+ and must now prioritize school staff and childcare workers;
• Reporting in NYS Vaccine Tracker now required on Monday and Thursday rather than every day;
• Newly eligible include public-facing government and public employees, not-for-profit workers who provide public-facing services to those in need, and essential in-person public-facing building service workers.

HERDS Survey Update

DOH advised hospitals today that there will be revisions to the vaccine questions in the HERDS survey tomorrow March 24. These revisions will bring conformation with the new age 50+ thresholds and single dose vaccines. The changes can be viewed here.

Return to Work for HCP with Symptoms after Vaccination

DOH recently posted the following algorithm guidance relating to health care personnel (HCP) and other workers being furloughed or allowed to return to work when experiencing systemic signs or symptoms after being vaccinated:

Guidance for HCP with Systemic Signs or Symptoms After COVID-19 Vaccination
Guidance for Workers with Signs or Symptoms After COVID-19 Vaccination

Monoclonal Antibody Treatments

On March 18, DOH advised hospitals that monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19 are no longer being distributed through a state allocation system. HHS has enough on hand to meet the needs of all treatment facilities and is providing them through a direct ordering process.

CDC Vaccination & Infection Control Resources

CDC’s Project Firstline Toolkit, a new infection control training collaborative, is available online. The project aims to provide foundational and practical knowledge directly to frontline healthcare personnel.

SARS-CoV-2 variant classifications and definitions have been recently updated by CDC.

CDC’s training modules for Pfizer and Moderna have been recently updated and the Janssen training module is now live.

CDC recently posted new and updated vaccine resources. Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen standing orders, preparation and administration, and storage and handling guidance has been updated as recently as March 6.

For more information, please contact Andrew Jewett, Director, Hospital Preparedness Program at