Following HCA’s daily and continuous outreach to officials at all levels of the statewide vaccination effort, the state Department of Health (DOH) last night revised its guidance to move up the schedule for home care and hospice worker vaccination.
According to the new guidance, home care and hospice workers are now included in the week 4 vaccine prioritization schedule this week (beginning January 4).
HCA appreciates the Department’s response to our appeals but advises members that the actual availability of vaccines for staff is dependent on the state receiving adequate vaccine supply.
As we wrote in yesterday’s Situation Report, home care and hospice staff were previously slated for prioritization next week, as part of the continued phase 1a vaccination roll out.
HCA and partner associations wrote to Governor Cuomo in mid-December urging vaccination priority of home care and hospice in the earliest stage possible. This was followed by HCA’s direct appeals to the state Health Commissioner and our daily outreach to officials who are leading all ten of the state’s vaccination Regional Advisory Task Force (RATFs) coalitions, also known as the regional hubs.
Accompanying its new guidance for week 4, the Cuomo administration indicated to HCA yesterday that the home care and hospice prioritization would “be communicated to the regional hubs and to all hospitals, FQHCs, and local health departments” last night.
HCA has been meeting with and contacting various RATF officials throughout the day.
At least two RATFs (overseen by Northwell Health on Long Island and Albany Medical Center in the Capital Region) have today shared or will be sharing with HCA a list of updated site-specific point-of-dispensing information for making appointments that we will be sharing with members. HCA is seeking to compile all of this information for providers statewide. Please see our COVID-19 resource page for updates here as we compile this information.
Please also stay tuned for further additional updates.
Communications Tools and Other Resources
HCA recognizes that the vaccination effort is a massive logistical undertaking that requires clear and consistent communication. We advise member organizations to utilize existing resources from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for staff education about the importance of vaccination. These resources and toolkits were previously shared with the membership. They are posted on our COVID-19 resource page.
HCA will continue to keep you informed of all important developments