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Delaware Health Alert Network #440

February 25, 2021 12:45PM


Health Update
DHSS ORDER RELATED TO PROVISION OF SECOND DOSES OF A COVID-19 VACCINE; SUMMARY OF PROVIDER VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS

The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is issuing this health update to advise the health care community and vaccination providers enrolled to administer COVID-19 vaccinations, of a newly signed DHSS order with requirements regarding administration of second doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.  Additionally, DPH is providing a summary of vaccination provider requirements.

Background 

While mRNA COVID-19 vaccines have demonstrated high efficacy at preventing severe and symptomatic COVID-19, receiving the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine is highly important to achieve the level of protection observed in the large randomized trials supporting their effectiveness.  With limited supply of the vaccine, allocation-based decisions for administration must be made.

Summary 

On February 23, DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay signed an order requiring the following of health care/vaccination providers related to second doses:

  • Every health care provider administering COVID-19 vaccinations in Delaware shall be willing and able to administer the second dose of a two-dose series to persons who received a first dose from said provider, if so requested by the vaccinated person. Administration of the second dose shall be a higher priority than administration of a first dose to an unvaccinated person if vaccine is of insufficient supply to accomplish both. 
  • Every health care provider administering COVID-19 vaccination in Delaware shall be required to administer a second dose to patients of record who have been administered the first dose by a different provider.  
  • Every health care provider administering COVID-19 vaccination in Delaware shall order sufficient second doses for the purposes of achieving completing a two-dose vaccine series. However, if vaccine supply is insufficient, no provider shall be penalized for failure to follow this order.
  • Health care providers are prohibited from denying administration of a COVID-19 vaccination for reasons of race, color, gender, ethnicity, disability, national origin, age, or any other protected status.

Failure to comply with the order may result in a fine, repeated failure to comply may result in cessation of vaccine distribution to the non-compliant provider.  The order can be found at https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/177/2021/02/Vaccine-Order-02-23-21.pdf.  

In addition to the order, DPH has summarized the remaining provider vaccination requirements.  The requirements and specific penalties for non-compliance can be found: https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/177/2021/02/Vaccination-Requirements_2.24.21.pdf 

Summary of Additional Requirements:

  • Reporting Vaccination Administrations – Health care providers or other vaccinating providers who administer immunizations shall report information about the immunization and the person to whom it was given, to DelVAX within 24 hours of administering the dose.
  • Reporting unused Vaccine – The health care/vaccination provider must report the number of doses of COVID-19 vaccine and adjuvants that were unused, spoiled, expired, or wasted.
  • Requirements for Reporting Adverse Events – Health care/vaccination providers must report any adverse events following vaccination to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) (1-800-822-7967 or http://vaers.hhs.gov/contact.html).
  • Administering Vaccine to Priority Populations - Vaccinations shall be made available only to persons who meet current criteria for administration per Delaware’s vaccine allocation timeline (https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/vaccine/). Exceptions are authorized for the purpose of preventing waste or spoilage of vaccine only if vaccine has already been constituted for injection and the vaccinator is unable to locate any person who meets the current criteria and is willing to receive vaccination.
  • Equitable Access and Ability to Pay – Health care/vaccination providers are prohibited from denying administration of a COVID-19 vaccination for reasons of race, color, gender, ethnicity, disability, national origin, age, or any other protected status.  Further, healthcare/vaccination providers must make vaccinations available regardless of a person’s ability to pay, type of health insurance, administration fees, or participation in a particular provider or network. While providers may seek reimbursement from a health insurance plan, they may not seek any out-of-pocket costs from the vaccine recipient.

Complaints:   Complaints regarding conformity to these requirements can be emailed to hspcontact@delaware.gov

Complaints against a provider administering vaccine to unauthorized persons:  Any health care provider who intentionally or willfully provides or distributes, or who supervises someone who intentionally or willfully provides or distributes the COVID-19 vaccine to any individual who is not authorized to receive such vaccine pursuant to the Vaccination Guidance is guilty of unprofessional conduct as that term is defined in Title 24 and may be subject to licensure discipline. Complaints regarding such conduct should be made to the Division of Professional Regulation at https://delpros.delaware.gov/OH_FileComplaint.

Additional Information

Resources:

Categories of Health Alert messages:

  • Health Alert: Conveys the highest level of importance; warrants immediate action or attention.
  • Health Advisory: Provides important information for a specific incident or situation; may not require immediate action.
  • Health Update: Provides updated information regarding an incident or situation; unlikely to require immediate action.
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