• Alex Lipovtsev

New York State DOH COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

CHCANYS EM Team is providing updates from New York State on its COVID-19 vaccine program. For a compilation of recent COVID-19 vaccine distribution program updates and guidance, please see our Resources page. EO 202.91 and DOH Dear Provider Letter The New York State Governor’s Office recently released Executive Order (EO) 202.91, which includes the following directives:

  • Local health departments and county governments receive allocation for and must prioritize essential workers in the 1B category. Hospitals receive allocations for and must prioritize health care workers. Pharmacies are to prioritize individuals who are 65+. The New York State Department of Health (DOH) approved general population mass vaccination sites are to prioritize 65+ and essential workers in the 1B category. We allocate dosages to these provider classes to represent the fair distribution. If a provider distributes to a group outside of their “prioritization,” they will disrupt the fairness of the allocation.

  • Providers, unless otherwise directed, should not schedule appointments until they receive an allocation, and no more appointments should be scheduled than the actual allocation allows

Consistent with the EO, DOH Commissioner Howard Zucker sent a letter to enrolled vaccinators regarding limited vaccine allocations and highlighted three points:

  • The vaccine must be distributed fairly

  • It is essential that providers follow the law on “prioritization” of populations

  • Providers, unless otherwise directed, should not schedule appointments until they receive an allocation and no more appointments should be scheduled than the actual allocation allows

The EO and the provider letter do not directly address prioritization for Federally Qualified Health Centers, private practice offices, and other community health providers that are enrolled in the New York State vaccination program. Prior guidance instructed these providers to focus on individuals 65+. Weekly Planning Requests (non-New York City/Rest of State) Over the weekend, DOH sent an e-mail regarding weekly planning requests (formerly called pre-booking) in the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS). To be considered for a COVID-19 vaccine allocation, enrolled vaccinators must submit a new planning request in NYSIIS each Monday by 5:00 p.m. Planning requests should be for first doses only using either the campaign code “COVID_pharmacy1” for pharmacies or “COVID1” for all other providers. DOH will manage second dose allocations and will automatically allocate and ship product at the appropriate interval. Instructions for requesting COVID-19 vaccine in NYSIIS have been updated. DOH emphasizes that a planning request is a requested amount, and that submitting a planning request does not guarantee an immediate allocation or allocation at the level requested. Redistribution Guidance DOH also has issued updated redistribution guidance. The tracking spreadsheet has been updated to include a field for if the redistributed vaccine doses are second doses.

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