DOH Issues Vaccine Policy Allowing Transport of Pre-Drawn Syringes
In response to advocacy from LeadingAge NY and other stakeholders, the Department of Health (DOH) issued guidance on May 3rd allowing certain COVID-19 vaccine providers to transport COVID-19 vaccine in pre-filled syringes when this is the only option for administration. The guidance applies only to providers vaccinating homebound individuals and to vaccination of individuals in nursing homes and adult care facilities (ACFs). This will enable vaccine providers, including long term care pharmacies and other vaccine providers, to make available small numbers of needed doses to nursing homes, ACFs, and home care agencies.
The guidance requires providers to develop and implement policies and procedures that comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit and the U.S. Pharmacopeia's (USP) COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Toolkit: Operational Considerations for Healthcare Practitioners. Members are encouraged to ensure that their pharmacy providers and other vaccine suppliers are aware of this new guidance.
State Issues Johnson & Johnson Resumption Advisory
On May 3rd, DOH issued a Health Advisory providing an overview of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), as well as the clinical considerations of the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in certain populations. The document includes other resources on the vaccine as well. We encourage members to review the guidance, as this is the preferred vaccine for those being discharged from hospitals to long term care facilities and the most practical brand available for vaccination of the homebound.
Resources to Fight Vaccine Hesitancy
LeadingAge NY is working to collect and make available resources to help members increase their staff and resident vaccination rates. We are asking members to provide us with any successful strategies they have implemented to date so that we can share them with the membership. We are also seeking individual members to be a one-on-one resource to other members who are trying to address their low staff vaccination rates. Please contact Meg Everett at firstname.lastname@example.org to share any successful strategies you may have and volunteer as a resource to others.
LeadingAge NY will be working to build a library of resources for members. In the meantime, please take a look at the following resources:
- The CDC has a number of resources on their website, including their Vaccination Toolkit for Long Term Care Facilities and Vaccine Recipient Education.
- On their May 3rd member call, LeadingAge National provided the Vaccine Misinformation Management Field Guide, a resource created by the UNICEF Programme Division, Health Section, Immunization Unit C4D team, in collaboration with The Public Good Projects, First Draft, and Yale Institute of Global Health. It was developed to facilitate the development of strategic and well-coordinated national action plans to rapidly counter vaccine misinformation and build demand for vaccination that are informed by social listening.
- The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) regularly publishes updates on vaccination progress; see KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor: What We’ve Learned for a general summary of their findings.
- Tune into LeadingAge National's Drive for 75 campaign to increase staff and resident vaccinations. Their updates can be accessed here.