Community-Based Physicians and Staff Expected to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine Beginning Jan 4

Dear Colleague:

Community-based physicians and staff that have direct in-person patient care contact are expected to begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine on January 4th.  Details on how and where immunizations will be obtained are still being worked out by the New York State Department of Health.  Please be assured that MSSNY will provide information as soon as we have it.  Several documents have been posted to the NYSDOH vaccination site.

“NYS Vaccination Program Guidance for Facilities Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine Phase 1A Only” is available here.

Effective next week, January 4th, this list will be expanded to include:

·   All Outpatient/Ambulatory front line, high risk health care providers who provide direct in-person patient care or other staff of any age in a position where they have direct contact with patients, such as receptionists. This will include but is not limited to hospital and community based ambulatory care, primary care, outpatient behavioral health services, phlebotomists, physical and occupational therapists, and specialty clinics including dialysis centers.

·   All front line, high risk public health workers who have direct contact with patients.

·   Health care workers at testing sites.

Effective this week, the following populations are prioritized for vaccination:

·   High-risk hospital and FQHC staff, including OMH psychiatric centers

·   Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel

·   Medical Examiners and Coroners

·   Funeral workers who have direct contact with infectious material and bodily fluids

·   Agency staff and residents in congregate living situations run by the OPWDD, OMH and OASAS.

·   Urgent Care providers

·   Staff administering the COVID-19 vaccine

Also see: 

1. Additional guidance for weeks 1-4 including tables of prioritization schedule and vaccination sites is available here. Local health departments are now listed in this table page 6-listed under vaccine recipients.

2. Storage and handling guidance

3. Demographic self-report form for those receiving vaccine

COVID-19 Relief Package 

As you may have heard, the President on Sunday night signed into law the COVID-19 relief package he had previously threatened to veto.  The measure contains a number of far-reaching proposals that impact physicians, including helping to prevent or reduce significant Medicare cuts that physicians were going to receive starting in a few days; another $284 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses including physician practices who may have already received a PPP loan/grant; ensuring that receipt of a PPP loan/grant will not prevent a business from deducting expenses it might otherwise have deducted; and funding for an additional 1,000 medical residency positions.  It also includes the federal provisions for addressing surprise out of network bills, which had been improved but contained significant problematic provisions as well.

See our December 23 MSSNY e-news for more information on these issues.


Bonnie M. Litvack, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York