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Vaccination Update

New State Vaccination Guidance Issued

On Dec. 23rd, the State issued updated vaccination guidance for providers incorporating the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) recommendations that mRNA vaccines for initial and booster doses should be preferred over the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine.

The guidance also includes information about a new adult/adolescent vaccine formulation for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, which will be introduced in packaging with a gray cap for individuals 12+ with no diluent required. To avoid mistakes during this period of transition when both Pfizer adult formulation products may be in circulation, the guidance states that these products should not be offered/administered at the same time.

Enforcement Status of Federal Vaccine Mandates

Pending the U.S. Supreme Court's Jan. 7th hearing regarding the federal vaccine mandates, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will not implement or enforce the Interim Final Rule on its vaccine mandate while there are injunctions in place and we await the Court's decision.

Likewise, regarding its Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will not issue any citations for noncompliance with any ETS requirement until Jan. 10th and will not issue any citation for noncompliance with the testing provisions of the ETS until Feb. 9th, provided employers are exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard.

Recognizing the short timeframe between the Jan. 7th oral arguments and the possible Jan. 10th implementation of the OSHA ETS, providers should be preparing diligently to comply with the ETS. If there are further guidance documents or statements from OSHA or CMS, LeadingAge NY will pass this information along to members.

NYC Offers Assistance with LTC Facility Vaccinations

New York City (NYC) is offering assistance with administration of first, second, and booster doses of the vaccine to NYC nursing home residents and staff. In our meetings with NYC staff, LeadingAge NY has learned that the City will send an outside vendor, MedRite, to assist facilities with administration starting this week. This initiative is only for NYC facilities. This service may be available to adult care facilities (ACFs) too. Nursing homes and ACFs that are interested in this support should contact Karen Lipson or Diane Darbyshire for more information.

Contact: Meg Everett, meverett@leadingageny.org, 518-929-9342