The Biden administration recently unveiled a sweeping new COVID-19 vaccination rule that requires all healthcare workers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
As of Monday, January 13th, 2022, the US Supreme Court overturned the preliminary injunction in effect in several states which paused the implementation of the CMS COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate.
Here's What You Need to Know:
Does this mean that I must be fully vaccinated to continue working shifts at ShiftMed’s partnering facilities?
This means that you must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (i.e., you must have completed a single-series or two-part series vaccine regimen) in order to claim shifts at ShiftMed's partnering facilities. We will keep you updated as states begin to require COVID-19 vaccine boosters as well.
How much time do I have to get vaccinated?
You must be fully vaccinated no later than Friday, January 28th, 2022, before providing any care, treatment, or other services for a facility and/or its patients.
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)
What if I don't get vaccinated by this deadline?
If you are not fully vaccinated by January 28th, 2022, you will not be able to claim shifts at ShiftMed's partnering facilities.
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 28th , 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 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. Natural immunity, or existing antibodies from a prior COVID infection does not qualify for an exemption. You can request the appropriate exemption using the ShiftMed app.
Do I need to receive a booster vaccine?
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 surge, several states across the country now also require COVID-19 vaccine boosters for all healthcare workers. ShiftMed recommends that all healthcare workers receive a COVID-19 booster in accordance with CDC recommendations. To keep your credentials up-to-date so you can claim all shifts in your area, you can upload your booster dose directly in the ShiftMed app.
What if I have received both vaccine doses, but have not completed my 14-day waiting period?
You are considered compliant with CMS’ requirements.