Updated Vaccine Guidance: 1B Priority Groups, Minimizing Vaccine Wastage, and Tonight’s Vaccine Event

January 11, 2021

GNYHA 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 GNYHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination page.

Phase 1B Prioritization Guidance

COVID-19 vaccine eligibility has been expanded to include groups from Phase 1B. Please see updated New York State Department of Health (DOH) guidance (attached) for details. Phase 1B groups also are available on the New York State COVID-19 website. At a high level, the updates include:

  • Individuals age 75 and older
  • First responder and support staff for first responder agencies
  • Corrections
  • P-12 schools
  • Employees or support staff of licensed or registered childcare settings
  • Licensed, registered, approved, or legally exempt childcare providers
  • Public transit
  • Individuals living in homeless shelters where sleeping, bathing, or eating accommodations must be shared with individuals and families who are not part of your household
  • Individuals working (paid or unpaid) in homeless shelters where sleeping, bathing, or eating accommodations must be shared by individuals and families who are not part of the same household in a position where there is potential for interaction with shelter residents
  • Public-facing grocery store workers
  • In-person college instructors

All vaccine recipients must complete the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Form prior to vaccine administration. Individuals being vaccinated must bring proof of eligibility to the vaccination site, which may include an employee ID card, a letter from an employer or affiliated organization, or a pay stub, depending on the specific priority status.

Guidance also reviews vaccine provider responsibilities.

Minimizing Vaccine Wastage

DOH also issued additional guidance (attached) on the use of COVID-19 vaccine doses remaining at the end of the day or clinic. The guidance notes that there may be circumstances that lead to doses of vaccine left in vials that remain at the close of business or the end of a vaccine clinic, creating a situation where no one from the priority population can arrive before the doses expire. In these circumstances, DOH authorizes providers to administer vaccine to other public-facing employees. The exception is only for the purpose of ensuring vaccine is not wasted, and DOH anticipates that as eligibility expands, the need for this exception will diminish.

The guidance includes a reminder that all vaccine administered must be recorded in the New York State Immunization Information System or New York City Citywide Immunization Registry within 24 hours of administration. In addition, the guidance indicates that a separate tracking sheet must be maintained to clearly document the amount of vaccine used and to whom it was administered under these circumstances. A second dose should be scheduled at the time of administration for all recipients.

The guidance recommends that all providers keep a daily list of “standby” eligible individuals to be notified of vaccine availability on short notice. Before discarding any vaccine, facilities should contact their local Department of Health to determine if any eligible individuals can be contacted to receive the vaccine.

Second Dose Guidance

DOH also issued guidance (attached) today for administering the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. The guidance addresses both the Pfizer and Moderna second doses and reviews provider responsibilities, managing vaccine inventory, and additional considerations and information. Hospitals have previously received this guidance, and nothing new has been added.

DOH Webinar Tonight

DOH and senior members of the Governor’s Vaccination Task Force will hold a webinar TONIGHT, Monday, January 11, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The webinar will provide updates on the State’s vaccination plan.

The livestream link is available here.

Please submit questions in advance to

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