As expected, health care workers and staff and residents of long-term care facilities will likely be in the front of the line to receive COVID-19 vaccines.
Now, companies that employ and house these early vaccination candidates should prepare for how to administer the vaccines.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices made the vaccine priority recommendation this week, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to give emergency approval to two COVID-19 vaccines within the next two weeks. The committee’s recommendations are guidance that is likely to be accepted by the states when they administer vaccination programs within their borders.
It is possible that enough vaccines will be distributed to states to allow the early candidates to begin receiving vaccinations by the end of December, though it also is likely that the initial vaccine supplies will be limited. This could result in the need for health care providers and long-term care facilities to prioritize who within their organizations will be the first to get vaccinated.
Health care workers eligible for the vaccine include not only clinical staff, but also support staff (including employees, contractors and caregivers) who may come into contact with patients. Health care providers may also need to consider the need to rotate the timing of the vaccinations in light of the potential side effects of the vaccines which could lead to staff taking sick leave. Health care providers and long-term care facilities should be prepared to decide whether they want to make vaccinations mandatory and be prepared to address any requests for exemptions from mandatory requirements made by employees.
Barley Snyder attorneys Martin Siegel, Jennifer Craighead Carey and Christopher Churchill will hold a free webinar on Wednesday that will cover the questions related to health care companies administering vaccines to their health care workers. For more information on how to attend this webinar, click here.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this alert should not be construed as legal advice to be relied upon nor to create an attorney/client relationship. Please note that the reader’s or an industry’s specific situation or circumstances will vary and, thus, for example, an approach that is advisable in one industry may not be appropriate in another industry. If you have questions about your situation or about how to apply information contained in this alert to your situation or industry, you should reach out to an attorney.
The views expressed in this alert are those of each individual author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm or the firm’s clients. The response to the COVID 19 pandemic is particularly challenging, evolving and, in many cases, can be controversial. Any views expressed in this alert are not intended to advocate for or endorse a particular governmental response to the pandemic.