The New York State Department of Health has issued the attached guidance for administering the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and clarification on redistributing vaccine from receiving sites to vaccine administration sites.

Second Dose Guidance

Hospitals will begin receiving vaccine supply to administer second doses on Monday, January 4. Vaccine that is designated for the second dose will automatically be allocated and delivered to each site. While DOH will indicate during the ordering process that second doses are being shipped, vaccine deliveries will not be labeled as such.

Vaccine providers are instructed to update the State’s immunization registry—the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS) or the Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR) in New York City—every time they administer a dose of the vaccine to ensure that individuals get the second dose of the correct vaccine on time. In addition, providers that administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine are responsible for administering the second dose to all of their vaccine recipients. If individuals were brought to the facility or clinic from an outside location to receive the first dose, the facility must work with that entity to ensure that vaccine recipients return for their second dose.

The DOH guidance includes additional details on managing vaccine inventory, considerations such as managing second dose appointments, and additional information from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna on their respective vaccine.

Vaccine Redistribution Process and Rules

DOH also provided additional guidance for hospitals that may wish to transfer/redistribute doses to other facilities. DOH must review and approve all transfers/redistributions in advance. For facilities in New York City, DOH will work with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Facilities that intend to redistribute vaccine must complete 1) a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Redistribution Agreement and 2) DOH’s Request to Redistribute Vaccine Between Locations form (both are included as attachments in today’s guidance) and submit them to covidvaccineredistribution@health.ny.gov.

Once the redistribution is approved, facilities will receive a Refrigerated Vaccine Transport Tracking Sheet that must be completed by both the releasing and receiving facilities. The releasing facility initiates the form and provides to the receiving facility, and the receiving facility completes and submits the form after completion of the transfer.

Both the releasing and receiving facilities must update their vaccine inventory accordingly in either the NYSIIS or the CIR. The receiving site should update the inventory before administering any doses, and no later than 24 hours after receiving the redistributed vaccine. The facility redistributing the vaccine should ensure inventory is updated within 24 hours of the transaction.

Facilities are encouraged to review DOH’s COVID-19 Vaccine Transport Guidelines.

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