The Biden administration recently unveiled a sweeping new COVID-19 vaccination rule that requires all healthcare workers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 4, 2022.

Here's What You Need To Know:

How much time do I have to get vaccinated?

  • You must receive your first vaccine dose or your single dose no later than December 5, 2021, before providing any care, treatment, or other services for a facility and/or its patients.

  • You must complete your vaccine series (second dose) by January 4, 2022.

What vaccinations can I receive to meet these requirements?

  • A single-dose vaccine (the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 Vaccine)

  • A multi-dose vaccine (such as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (interchangeable with the licensed Comirnaty Vaccine) or the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine)

I am unvaccinated – can I just submit to daily or weekly testing?

  • No – CMS requires all workers in long-term care and rehabilitation facilities to be in complete compliance with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate by January 4, 2022 (i.e., COVID vaccine series completed). There is no alternate testing process available.

    • Please note: if you are unvaccinated with a valid, compliant exemption, you may still be required to undergo regular testing.

What if my state has issued different rules or mandates which don’t require vaccines?

  • These federal mandates will govern, or control, the topic of vaccine requirements in the event of a conflict.

I already had COVID-19 so I have the antibodies. This means that I don’t need the vaccine, right?

  • Unfortunately, no. Anyone who previously had COVID-19 is still required to receive the vaccine. CMS research demonstrates that the vaccine provided better protection against the virus than natural immunity and that the vaccine, even after prior infection, will help prevent reinfection.

Does “natural immunity” give me a reason for a medical exemption?

  • No – “natural immunity” does not constitute a medical condition for which the vaccine is contraindicated. It does not give you a reason for an exemption.

What if I want to receive an exemption from this vaccine requirement?

  • CMS allows for exemptions in cases where there is a valid, documented clinical condition, signed by a licensed provider, which prevents COVID vaccination. An exemption is also available for sincerely held religious beliefs. Any exemption will be subject to CMS requirements and facility client approval.

Do I need to receive a booster vaccine?

  • At this time, boosters are not required for staff who have completed the primary vaccine series.

What if I have received both vaccine doses, but have not completed my 14-day waiting period?

  • You are considered compliant with CMS’ requirements.

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