January 19, 2021
As COVID-19 vaccines are distributed, the Medical Board of California is supporting the state's efforts to ensure that all providers follow state and federal guidelines for vaccine administration. In this vein, it provided its licensees new guidance regarding vaccine administration, replacing the notice provided licensees on December 30, 2020.
The medical board referenced the guidance released by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) on January 7, 2021, that recognized the need to balance the prioritization of scarce vaccine resources with the goal of achieving community immunity for all Californians. The January 7, 2021, guidance also noted situations in which the health departments and providers may offer doses promptly to people in lower priority groups, including provider flexibility to eliminate vaccine spoilage.
The medical board said its review process will evolve to incorporate any future guidance by CDPH. On January 13, 2021, CDPH expanded vaccine prioritization to include anyone over the age of 65. Additionally, the guidance noted situations in which the health departments and providers may offer doses promptly to people in any lower priority groups, including when demand subsides in currently prioritized groups.
The medical board clarified that it will prioritize the investigation of complaints against licensees who engage in diversion of COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine administration supplies undertaken for financial gain and in violation of applicable federal and state guidance.
The vaccine administration standards are available on the CDPH website.