Individuals 65+ May Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine
Earlier today, Governor Cuomo added the 65+ population to the prioritization list for the COVID-19 vaccine, which also includes the recently announced Phase 1B population activated on Jan. 11th.
Consequently, new populations included in Phase 1B include both individuals over 65 (and 75) and a multitude of essential and public-facing workers. The exhaustive list can be accessed here. The Governor’s announcement today also indicated that a few more populations are being contemplated; we will keep members informed as this unfolds. The State has clarified that vaccinators must continue to prioritize health care workers in their provision of the vaccine.
The process of adding this enormous population will cause kinks in the rollout of the vaccine. The Am I Eligible? application form may be used to indicate your prioritized status and will link you to sites and scheduling tools. LeadingAge NY is also pushing out scheduling links to members as we receive them from various hub sites. The State said that activating this 1B population will take months to complete. We encourage members to urge home care, hospice, nursing home, and adult care facility (ACF) staff not vaccinated through the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long Term Care program to access these hub sites.
With this change to include 65+, potential independent living and senior housing on-site clinics at the regional level will be able to provide residents with the vaccine. Hubs raised concerns earlier that only a portion of the population could be served if only 75+ was eligible. We will clarify and continue to advocate that staff of these settings be included as well.
Regional Hub Advocacy
LeadingAge NY staff have reached out to all 10 Regional Vaccination Networks across the state. We have met with almost all of the hubs, introducing our organization, its members, the services they provide, and the populations they serve. LeadingAge NY staff attend regular calls with several of the hubs and are participating in smaller group meetings to address the needs of elderly populations.
We continue to advocate for on-site vaccination clinics for interested member populations who will not be vaccinated through the federal Pharmacy Partnership program and whose resident populations have transportation and access challenges – namely independent living and senior housing populations. Though in the early stages, we are receiving good reception in this regard and will let members know if and when regional hubs are ready to reach out for potential partnership to this end. We will keep in touch as this process develops.
In the meantime, we are providing hubs with member lists and educating them about Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) plan and Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) potential for education and identification of priority populations. We will continue to keep them informed about member vaccine status and any challenges or concerns members may be having. We encourage members to engage directly with their regional hubs and to keep us apprised of their experience regarding the vaccination process.
HCP Vaccination Attestation Form
LeadingAge NY is looking into whether this vaccination attestation form is required for the federal Pharmacy Partnership program. It is our understanding that the form is only for vaccinations provided under the State’s vaccine program, as the federal program was well under way prior to the form’s introduction. Health care staff as well as all individuals receiving vaccination will have to complete the form prior to vaccination.