GNYHA is providing updates regarding the COVID-19 vaccine program from New York State Department of Health (DOH) Commissioner Dr. Howard A. Zucker and important instructions for vaccine providers in New York City on vaccine ordering and inventory management.

State Response to City Request to Administer Second Doses as First Doses

DOH Commissioner Zucker published a response to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s request to use second vaccine doses as first doses. The letter discusses the scientific community’s mixed opinions on this matter and emphasizes that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend using second doses for first doses at this time. New York State will continue to follow CDC recommendations on vaccine distribution.

Citywide Immunization Registry Updates

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) issued a “Dear Colleague” letter (attached) announcing updates to the COVID-19 ordering module in the Citywide Immunization Registry’s (CIR) Online Registry Vaccine Inventory Management (VIM) system. Please see the guidance for ordering and managing inventory in VIM. Updates include:

  • A new deadline for order submissions of Mondays at 12:00 p.m. to receive vaccine for the following week
  • Submissions will comprise two parts:
    • The Pre-Book Doses Requested: This should reflect the total number of doses needed overall for all health care personnel, eligible persons, and patients for your facility
    • The Current Order Amount: This should reflect the number of vaccinations your site could administer in a one-week period
  • Requests that are not fulfilled in the current week will automatically roll over to the next week; facilities will not need to reenter an order
  • A new requirement to submit and reconcile your first and second dose on-hand COVID-19 vaccine inventory by lot number

DOHMH Reminder: Collect and Report Race and Ethnicity Data to Help Ensure Equitable Access to COVID-19 Vaccines

DOHMH issued Health Advisory #3, which reminds providers to collect and report COVID-19 vaccine recipients’ race and ethnicity to the CIR. The letter asks that providers ensure that all staff, especially those who conduct patient intake or administer vaccinations, understand the importance of race and ethnicity data, why this information is being requested, and how the data is used.

The New York City COVID-19 Vaccination Program Enrollment, Vaccine Ordering and Reporting guide highlights options for reporting data on doses administered to the CIR.

For a compilation of recent COVID-19 vaccine distribution program updates and guidance, please see GNYHA’s Covid-19 Vaccination page.