New Categories of "Covered" COVID-19 Vaccinators Spur Providers to Cross State Lines, Come Out of Retirement

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We recently shared a Legal Alert of amendments to the federal government’s Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act that broadens the pool of COVID-19 vaccinators, helping meet the intense demand for immunization across the state and country. By expanding the definition of “covered persons” entitled to immunity from suit and liability, this amendment adds categories of qualified physicians, registered nurses and practical nurses authorized to prescribe, dispense and administer COVID-19 vaccines. Under an existing New York state executive order issued prior to the PERP amendment, providers can cross state lines to give COVID-19 vaccines and come out of retirement, provided their licenses to practice in New York state are in good standing.

As Governor Cuomo is actively recruiting retired physicians and nurses to assist with the vaccination program, we encourage our health care clients to tap into their networks of retired physicians, providers who transitioned to non-clinical positions, and providers who have moved out of state but are willing to return to support the vaccination clinics. The re-registration process is now expedited, with fees waived; inactive licensees are welcome to volunteer by contacting New York state. Both the New York directives and the PREP amendment require that all vaccinators complete the DOH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccine Training, available both online and on-site.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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