Public Health Agency Vaccination Guidance

May 7, 2021

Information concerning COVID-19 vaccination planning and distribution is moving rapidly. Below is a compilation of guidance materials specifically on the COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Please also refer to the COVID-19 Tracking and Regulatory Waivers page for updates on implementation of the State’s vaccination program and the COVID-19 Community, Patient, and Health Care Worker Health Education Material page, which contains materials regarding COVID-19 vaccine education.

CDC Guidance

Item Date Updated
Vaccine Guidance Pages:

Updated on a rolling basis
Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Authorized in the United States 4/27/2021
V-safe flyer: V-safe is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after someone receives a COVID-19 vaccination. Once someone gets the COVID-19 vaccine, they can enroll in V-safe via their smartphone. Participation is voluntary and participants can opt out at any time. 1/5/2021
COVID-19 Vaccine Training Module: This training provides continuing education credits for Physicians, Physician Assistants, Advanced Practice Nurses, RNs, and Pharmacists. 12/15/2020
What Clinicians Need to Know About the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine:  Presentation 12/13/2020
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Interim Recommendation for Use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine 12/13/2020
Post-Vaccine Considerations for Health Care Personnel: This approach is intended to reduce the risks of disruptions in care and pathogen transmission resulting from unnecessarily excluding HCP with only post-vaccination signs from work and inadvertently allowing HCP with SARS-CoV-2 or another transmissible infection to work. 12/13/2020
ACIP COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Considerations 12/3/2020
Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit (updated to include information on COVID-19 vaccine) 11/2020
COVID-19 Vaccination Training Programs and Reference Materials for Healthcare Professionals: This document lists immunization training and educational materials, including basic and COVID-19-vaccine-specifc information. 11/24/2020
For Reference:


DOH Guidance

Item Date Updated
New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Program Guidance Update: All individuals 16 years of age and older that reside in the United States are eligible to be vaccinated in New York State. 5/6/2021
Pre-drawn Syringe COVID-19 Vaccine Policy: This guidance refers to the pre-drawn syringe labeling, storage, handling, and transport guidance in the US Pharmacopeia COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Toolkit: Operational Considerations for Healthcare Practitioners 5/4/2021
Instructions for Requesting COVID-19 Vaccine in NYSIIS: Instructions for requesting COVID-19 vaccine in NYSIIS (formerly referred to as “pre-booking”) have been updated. In order to be considered for a COVID-19 vaccine allocation, enrolled vaccinators must submit a new planning request in NYSIIS each Monday by 5PM. Please do not submit before Monday. Guidance also updates the minimum Pfizer vaccine request to 1170 doses to account for six-dose vials (195 six-dose vials for a total of 1,170 doses).

DOH also sent an e-mail regarding weekly planning requests in NYSIIS.

New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Form: This form must be completed by the person receiving vaccine prior to administration and includes an attestation of vaccine priority group eligibility. This form can be completed online after which a submission ID will be received, or the form can be filled out at a vaccination site.

Updated on 4/6/2021 to include all New Yorkers who reside, study, or work in New York and are age 16+.

Guidance for Hospitals Vaccinating Long Term Care Patients Before Discharge to a Long Term Care Facility: The guidance reinforces that Article 28 general hospitals are required to offer COVID-19 vaccine to medically eligible consenting patients prior to discharge to a nursing home or other long term care facility. 4/4/2021
NYS Vaccine Tracker: DOH is modifying the frequency of New York State Vaccine Tracker reporting. Effective immediately, providers receiving COVID-19 vaccine no longer need to report daily, and must now report to the Vaccine Tracker on both Mondays and Thursdays by 10:00 a.m. 3/16/2021
New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Program Document Package (Effective 3/5/2021): DOH released updated the COVID-19 vaccination guidance to include the newly authorized single-dose Janssen vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older. The packet includes:

  1. Guidance for the New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Program (effective March 5, 2021)
  2. Janssen Vaccine Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Letter (New York State Health Commissioner letter issued March 1, 2021 – revised)
  3. New York State COVID-19 Immunization Screening and Consent Form (current version from January 20, 2021)
  4. Information for Health Care Professionals about the Screening Checklist for the COVID-19 Vaccine
  5. New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Storage and Handling Overview
  6. New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Program Temperature Excursion Report
  7. New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Program Guidance for Vaccine Transport and Tracking Sheet
  8. New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Program Redistribution and Q&A
Standing Orders: An Executive Order was issued waiving the requirement for a patient-specific physician order for administering vaccine. DOH has provided a Janssen Vaccine Non-Patient Specific Standing Order Template (Word Doc. – 3/5/2021).

DOH previously provided the following fillable PDF templates for non-patient specific standing orders:

NYS Guidance on Vaccine Transport (Updated): Updates Transport guidance and the COVID-19 Vaccine Transport Tracking Sheet to include more detail regarding refrigeration and a recap of guidance on the Tracking Sheet itself. 2/12/2021
Commissioner Letter Concerning Using Second Doses as First Doses: This letter clarifies the State’s position on using second doses as first doses, indicating that New York State will continue to follow the CDC recommendations on vaccine distribution and that the CDC does not currently recommend using second doses for first doses. 2/4/2021
DOH Dear Provider Letter: Consistent with EO 202.91, the New York State Commissioner of Health sent a letter to enrolled vaccinators regarding limited vaccine allocations, and made three points:

  1. The vaccine must be distributed fairly.
  2. It is essential that providers follow the law on “prioritization” of populations.
  3. 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.
COVID-19 Vaccination Program Redistribution Guidance: This guidance is meant to provide clarification on redistributing vaccine from receiving sites to vaccine administration sites.

Updated on 1/23/2021 to include 2nd doses on the Tracking Sheet.

Second Dose Guidance: The guidance addresses both the Pfizer and Moderna second doses and reviews provider responsibilities, managing vaccine inventory, and additional considerations and information. 1/11/2021
DOH Guidance 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. 1/9/2021
Unused Vaccine Letter: This letter to COVID-19 vaccine providers states that vaccine shipments must be administered within one week from delivery, otherwise remaining doses will be redistributed to other facilities. The letter asks that any facilities unable to administer all doses within this week please contact, and that DOH staff will assist with redistribution. 1/3/2021
Guidance for Administration of the Second Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine: 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. 1/2/2021
Guidance on Additional Moderna Doses: DOH issued guidance regarding the extra doses that providers have noted they can draw from Moderna vaccine vials. DOH’s guidance addresses operational questions that the extra doses have created including how to manage reporting and how to manually modify inventory in NYSIIS. 12/23/2020
Guidance on Storage and Handling of Moderna Vaccine: This guidance document addresses ancillary supply and PPE delivery, handling and storage, vaccine characteristics, training resources and reporting. 12/18/2020
Guidance on Additional Pfizer Doses: DOH issued guidance the extra doses that providers have noted they can draw from the initial week’s delivery of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine vials. DOH’s guidance addresses operational questions that the extra doses have created including how to manage reporting and how to manually modify inventory in NYSIIS. 12/18/2020
COVID-19 Vaccine Transport Guidelines: This guidance document addresses Transfer scenarios where an enrolled Vaccine Administration Site (VAS) location may need to transfer vaccine to support a closed POD clinic on campus, an off campus affiliated Employee Health location, or Mobile Vaccination POD in the community. It also addresses circumstances requiring redistribution of the COVID-19 Vaccine beyond the identified primary receiving site. 12/17/2020
Guidance on Immunization Reporting Requirements: This guidance document reminds vaccine providers of their obligation to report all COVID-19 vaccinations to the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS) or the Citywide Immunization Registry within 24 hours of administration. 12/13/2020
COVID-19 Vaccine Form Instructions: To ensure equitable access of vaccine across the State, DOH will collect demographic information about individuals who are vaccinated. This form provides instructions on the new COVID-19 Vaccine Form, which DOH developed to capture this information. 12/13/2020
COVID-19 Vaccine Screening and Model Consent Form: While the Federal government requires that vaccine administrators provide the vaccine information sheets to patients, it does not require written consent for administering the COVID-19 vaccine. Nevertheless, because many providers will opt to implement a consent form with the information sheets, DOH has provided the screening template and model consent form as a guide. 12/13/2020
Instructions for Screening Patients: DOH provided instructions for the screening checklist for health care providers. 12/13/2020
Initial Delivery Guidance: DOH released guidance in preparation for initial delivery of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Guidance addresses:

  • Inventory caches of critical personal protective equipment and ancillary supplies
  • Sub-prioritization of health care personnel
  • A form to request to redistribute vaccine between locations
  • A form for hospitals to request permission to redirect vaccine between priority populations within the current phase. DOH strictly prohibits hospitals from vaccinating individuals in any other priority group until DOH communicates explicit approval.
Guidance Webinar and Slides: What Hospitals Need to Know 12/10/2020
Sub-prioritization of Health Care Personnel: DOH provided a worksheet to assist in hospital planning efforts. 12/10/2020
Statewide Vaccination Plan: The New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Program overview. 10/2020
Archived Prioritization Guidance
New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Program Guidance Update: Updated guidance addresses issues concerning individuals receiving a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series that need to receive their second dose at a different location than their first dose. 4/27/2021
New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Program Guidance Update: Effective March 30, individuals age 30 and older are eligible to be vaccinated, in addition to all previously eligible groups. Individuals age 16 and older are eligible starting April 6. 3/30/2021
New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Program Guidance Update: Effective March 23, individuals age 50 and older are eligible to be vaccinated, in addition to all previously eligible groups. 3/23/2021
New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Program Guidance Update: Effective March 17, enrolled providers other than pharmacies, may vaccinate any eligible individual. 3/17/2021
New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Program Guidance Update: Guidance reflects announcement expanding eligibility. 3/10/2021
Week 12 Guidance: Adds public-facing hotel workers as eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. 3/1/2021
Week 10 Guidance: Starting on February 15, COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expands to individuals with certain co-morbidities and underlying conditions. Week 10 guidance covers prioritization as well as proof of eligibility. 2/13/2021
DOH Week 9 Guidance: Addresses prioritization and new vaccine eligibility categories for weeks 9 and 10. 2/8/2021
Guidance for the New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Program: As of 1/11 COVID-19 vaccine eligibility has been expanded to include groups from Phase 1B, and on 1/12 eligibility was updated to include 65+. Please see updated DOH guidance for details. Guidance also reviews vaccine provider responsibilities.

Updated on 1/19/2021.

Amended Week 4 Guidance: Updates Week 4 prioritization groups to include home care workers and aides, hospice workers, personal care aides, and consumer-directed personal care workers. This guidance supersedes and replaces previous Weeks 1-4 guidance.  1/5/2021
Weeks 1-5 Guidance: This guidance supersedes and replaces previously issued weeks 1 to 4 Phase 1A Guidance. The guidance provides detailed lists of Week 4 and 5 priority populations. Week 4 will add outpatient and ambulatory providers in high-risk areas and high-risk public health workers. DOH will add home care workers to the eligible priority group lists in Week 5. 1/2/2021
Week 3 and 4 Prioritization Guidance Clarification: This guidance clarification indicates “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.” 12/31/2020
Week 3 and 4 Guidance: This guidance for week three starting December 28, 2020, and for week four beginning January 4, 2021, supersedes and replaces previously issued week one and week two guidance. The guidance reviews Phase 1A prioritization; which types of providers will receive vaccine shipments; where priority groups can get vaccinated; vaccinator responsibilities, including planning for the second dose and verifying identification of individuals being vaccinated; vaccine storage and handling; and information for OPWDD, OMH and OASAS. 12/28/2020
Week 2 Prioritization Guidance: This guidance document addresses prioritization for hospitals and Federally-qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) that are receiving COVID-19 vaccine the week of December 21, 2020. The DOH guidance also alerts hospitals and FQHCs of their responsibility to act as vaccination centers for newly added priority groups that do not work within their facilities. Guidance includes a worksheet. 12/21/2020
COVID-19 Vaccine Week 2 Compiled Guidance Documents: This guidance document, released shortly after the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine EUA was announced, provides multiple materials to support the initial distribution of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine as well as limited Week 2 allocations of Pfizer vaccine. 12/20/2020

DOHMH Guidance

Item Date Updated
NYC Certification of Eligibility for COVID-19 Vaccine Due to Medical Condition: This form is required for individuals eligible for COVID-19 vaccine due to eligible co-morbidity or underlying condition when their vaccine provider does not have access to their medical records. If the vaccine provider has access to records showing the person has an eligible condition, those records serve as proof of eligibility. 2/15/2021
Managing COVID-19 Vaccine Inventory Using the Citywide Immunization Registry: This guide covers how to order and reconcile COVID-19 vaccine inventory, how to use the vaccine transfer module, and reporting COVID-19 vaccine wastage.

This letter discusses 2/3/2021 updates.

New York City COVID-19 Vaccination Program Enrollment, Vaccine Ordering and Reporting: This guide addresses enrollment and reporting. 1/15/2021

Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Materials

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Materials

Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Materials

Additional Resources

Item Date Updated
US Department of Defense Memo on Secure Disposal of Vaccine Vials and Packaging Recommendations: The memo recommends that vaccinators either 1) treat vials and packaging similarly to medical waste by placing it in red sharps containers or 2) deface all or safely crush materials so it cannot be reintroduced or reproduced. After the products are sufficiently defaced, then dispose with regular waste. 2/2/2021
Guidance on Safety with Dry Ice: The Kentucky Hospital Association has shared a Guidance on Safety with Dry Ice toolkit. Given the impending deliveries of Pfizer vaccine packed in dry ice, there have been requests from hospital leaders for information for their staff that are less familiar with dry ice and its handling. 12/2020
Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS): Health care providers are required to report any adverse events following administration of the COVID-19 vaccine in the VAERS, which is operated by the Department of Health and Human Services. Providers are encouraged to report any additional clinically significant adverse events, even if they are not sure if vaccination caused the event. Please refer to the FAQs section of the website for reporting details.


For questions related to New York State’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution (outside of New York City), please e-mail

For questions related to New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution, please contact 347-396-2400 or e-mail