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February 23rd, 2021

IDD Vaccine Plan Approved (HCS/TxHmL/ICF)

Good News! The plan for Tarrytown Expocare to provide the COVID vaccine to persons receiving services through the ICF/IID, HCS and TxHmL programs has been approved. This includes staff and paid caregivers. The plan applies to those who have yet to receive the vaccine through either the federal pharmacy partnership program or other sources.
The three IDD associations will meet to discuss logistics.  I believe this is set to be implemented as of March 8, 2021.

February 12th, 2021


Today DSHS reported it has finalized its presentation of the Tarrytown Expocare vaccine plan that the three IDD associations, Tarrytown and DSHS have been working on for many weeks.  DSHS says the plan will be presented to DSHS Vaccine Leadership and the Commissioner today and also the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel (EVAP) at its next meeting Monday morning.  They expect to present this plan to the Governor’s Office Monday evening at which point DSHS feels it will have a final answer as to whether the plan is approved. Currently, we are not sure when it will be approved.
**This plan was developed using data the three IDD associations obtained from their respective members which include number of vaccines needed in both ICF/IID and HCS/TxHmL programs.  Thank you for all the work our IDD associations do for providers and individuals in the program!)
  • HHSC has not made a decision whether this same reporting requirements ICF requires, will be established for the HCS/TxHmL program.

February 12th, 2021                                                                  Image result for very important clipart free


HHSC will soon release emergency rules and a Provider Letter related to the process it will use to identify which facilities (staff and residents) have already received the vaccine.

A stand-alone webinar on the requirement will also be held.  Here is the link to draft Provider Letter and draft emergency rules 
(So remember to update your policies and procedures for COVID-19 /infection control policies and procedures!!!)
ICF/IID providers will be required to complete a survey indicating how many residents and staff have received the vaccine (1st, 2nd, or both doses).  The survey will be open for at least the duration of the emergency rule, requiring providers to add any new information about the status of the vaccines given  This will allow providers to report 2nd doses given if such was not reflected in a provider’s first data entry (that is provided the individual received a 2-dose vaccine.  Some vaccines will only have 1 dose- i.e. Astrozenica), or to report receipt of newly first-doses given.
After this three week period, HHSC will reconcile the data to identify where gaps exist. This process will include contacting providers as needed to confirm the information reported through the survey.  HHSC anticipates the reconciliation process taking 2 or 3 days.
The data will then be sent to DSHS to be used to link providers still in need of the vaccine (whether 1st or 2nd dose) for the individuals they serve and their staff.  This process will take about 2 weeks.  The full process should take 5 weeks total, assuming HHSC completes its reconciliation process in a timely manner and DSHS is able to link providers to a vaccine entity in a speedy and efficient manner.
Other information shared or discussed includes the following:
  • Providers will not be cited on the rule, but it is possible to receive a citation from a desk audit (HHSC did not elaborate on this).
  • The survey does not capture (and is not intended to capture) data on individuals who have opted not to receive the vaccine.
  • Recognizing that not all providers are aware of or are tracking the vaccination status of their staff, providers only need only to report the number of staff of which they are aware have received the vaccine.