On Friday, HCA reported to members about our meeting with New York City immunization officials who confirmed that home care and hospice workers would be included in phase one of the city’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout.
HCA is coordinating a follow-up meeting with city officials and partner associations later this week on logistical details, so please stay tuned.
Yet the state’s vaccine plan — distinct from the city’s — has not explicitly accounted for home care’s role, prompting HCA and partners to urge prioritization of home care workers and patients in the state Department of Health’s efforts to roll out the vaccine statewide.
That message was sent to Governor Cuomo in a letter signed and delivered late Friday by HCA, the New York State Association of Health Care Providers (HCP), and LeadingAge New York.
“Like other essential health care workers, home care workers are at risk of exposure to COVID‐19 infection,” we write. “These caregivers enter multiple residences each day, frequently traversing multiple cities or even counties. They interact closely with countless family members and other health care professionals during every shift.”
“We implore you to also prioritize home care workers as part of the early vaccination in phase 1 as immunization supply is made available,” the associations add.
HCA, HCP and LeadingAge New York also express our equal concerns “for the patients we serve and the medical fragility that puts the home care patient at high risk of COVID‐19 morbidity and mortality,” we add in our letter to the Governor. “Essentially by definition, the home care patient endures precisely the health conditions and comorbidities your task force recognizes as risk factors for a dangerous and/or life‐threatening COVID‐19 infection.”
Please stay tuned for further updates on both the state and city vaccination planning efforts.
State and City Vaccine Registries
HCA also encourages members to prepare now by enrolling in the city or state immunization registries and vaccination enrollment programs.
New York City providers should consult the following resources:
- Fact Sheet on Preparing for COVID-19 Vaccination
- December 8 “Dear Colleague” Letter on Vaccine Enrollment
Providers outside of New York City should consult the following resources: