In response to GNYHA and hospital input earlier this week, and the lower-than-anticipated vaccination numbers across the State, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) is clarifying the phase 1a prioritization guidance. DOH issued an update (attached) this afternoon that states:

Facilities that have vaccinated all frontline direct care and patient-facing health care workers and still have vaccine available should proceed to vaccinating the next groups of health care and patient-facing workers, whose job responsibilities require in-person presence, including those health care workers that will be expected to participate in the hospital or health system’s surge response for their facility, continuing to prioritize by risk.

This statement is meant to provide a clearer understanding of who can be vaccinated in the current phase of the program and address concerns regarding perceived eligibility restrictions.

DOH emphasizes that hospitals are encouraged to use all vaccine supplies prior to their next delivery. They further encourage hospitals to move swiftly through the health care worker tiers and vaccinate through the weekend.