Summary of COVID-19 Staffing ResourcesAs we continue with the historic mass vaccination campaign in the state of Connecticut, our public health partners will face the additional challenge of finding appropriate staffing resources to support COVID-19 clinics at a variety of locations. This document provides a summary of the available staffing resources and systems in place to meet the growing demands placed on the state’s public health system.
For more information on liability protections for practitioners and volunteers who are participating in mass vaccination, please visit the link: Liability Protections for Practitioners and Volunteers Engaged in Mass Vaccination
Licensed Healthcare Professionals who can readily vaccinate:
Currently licensed physicians, physician assistants, registered nurses, advanced practitioner registered nurses, and licensed practical nurses can administer intramuscular injections (i.e., give COVID19 vaccinations) to patients. Out-of-State licensed practitioners can also operate in CT per Executive Order No. 9S. Large community-based point of vaccination sites will likely need licensed medical staff to meet the high demands at such locations.
In collaboration with the CT Healthcare Coalition, a website portal was launched (https://cthcc.org/). The Department of Public Health (DPH) subsequently sent an alert to all such licensed practitioners on January 13, 2021 requesting that interested licensed healthcare practitioners go to the portal and enter contact information, license information and potential work hour availability into the website portal.
Hospitals, federally qualified health centers, pharmacies, and local public health departments (and other high throughput mass vaccinators providing community-based services, yet to be established) should reach out to CT’s Healthcare Coalition to obtain access to the online registry of these licensed professionals. Directions to do that can be found here.
Licensed Healthcare Professionals authorized under the Commissioner’s Order to administer vaccine after successfully completing training:
Certain licensed healthcare professionals are eligible to become approved to administer COVID-19 vaccinations if they complete a training program approved by DPH. Practitioners include the following healthcare professionals:
- podiatrists, veterinarians, dentists, and paramedics
- dental hygienists (provided the dental hygienist has training to administer anesthesia)
- advanced emergency medical technicians, and emergency medical technicians (provided they have previously completed the DPH-approved intramuscular epinephrine administration training)
Healthcare professionals who successfully complete the online and hands-on training modules will receive a completion certificate through the training provider and an approved evaluator. Their names and information will be included in the DPH Vaccinator Registry linked below. These healthcare practitioners are then able to legally administer COVID19 vaccine, under the direction of a licensed healthcare provider, in accordance with the Commissioner's Order, who can already readily vaccinate. Mass vaccination sites can request a copy of the professional’s approval as a vaccinator and verify it through the Vaccinator Registry.
Hospitals, federally qualified health centers, local public health departments, and other healthcare practitioners looking for expansion of their workforce should consider having their staff complete this course as soon as possible.
Physicians, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, Registered Nurses, or Practical Nurses with inactive, expired, or lapsed licenses within the past five years (per federal PREP Act amendment 5):
(g) Any physician, advanced practice registered nurse, registered nurse, or practical nurse who has held an active license or certification to prescribe, dispense, or administer vaccines under the law of any State within the last five years, which is inactive, expired or lapsed, who prescribes, dispenses, or administers COVID-19 vaccines that are Covered Countermeasures under section VI of this Declaration in any jurisdiction where the PREP Act applies in association with a COVID-19 vaccination effort by a federal, State, local, tribal or territorial authority or by an institution in which the COVID-19 vaccine covered countermeasure is administered, so long as the license or certification was active and in good standing prior to the date it went inactive, expired or lapsed and was not revoked by the licensing authority, surrendered while under suspension, discipline, or investigation by a licensing authority or surrendered following an arrest, and the individual is not on the List of Excluded Individuals/Entities maintained by the Office of the Inspector General, subject to (i) documentation of completion of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Vaccine Training Modules and (ii) documentation of an observation period by a currently practicing healthcare professional adequately experienced in vaccination who confirms competency of the healthcare provider in preparation and administration of the particular COVID-19 vaccine(s) to be administered.
- State of Connecticut license verification website: https://www.elicense.ct.gov/(For individuals who held a license out of state, please search that state’s licensing verification system)
- OIG Exclusion List: https://exclusions.oig.hhs.gov/
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Vaccine Training Modules:https://www2.cdc.gov/vaccines/ed/covid19/index.asp
Expansion of Categories of Qualified Persons for Vaccination (per federal PREP Act amendment 7):
The March 11, 2021 amendment to the federal PREP act expands the categories of qualified persons authorized to administer COVID-19 vaccines with federal immunity provided they meet the conditions outlined in the amendment.
The Department of Public Health is collaborating with the CT Conference of Independent Colleges, the CT Office of Higher Education, the CT State University System, and the University of Connecticut to compile a list of contacts at local colleges, universities, and post-secondary schools that may be able to connect students in programs like nursing, medicine or medical assisting with vaccination sites. Many vaccination sites, such as hospitals, already have relationships with nursing schools and other programs. These sites should consider engaging students in these programs to assist in mass vaccination clinics in roles that are appropriate to the students' course of study. Other mass vaccinators should revisit this section of the Staffing Resources page for updated information in the upcoming weeks.
Unpaid Volunteers with and without medical backgrounds:
Much of the work associated with mass vaccination and the pandemic response that support successful operations rely upon non-medical personnel and the roles they fulfill. Volunteers have been utilized to process vaccine records and assist with scheduling, handle traffic control in large settings, assist with administrative functions, answer telephones, process and sign-in workers and other volunteers, or pick-up and drop off needed supplies. These functions do not require the skills of licensed healthcare practitioners but are equally as valuable.
There are multiple volunteer organizations in Connecticut that can assist in the mass vaccination effort. These staffing resources are organized under planning regions and coordinated through regional contacts. Please refer to the DEMHS regional map at: https://portal.ct.gov/DEMHS/Emergency-Management/Resources-For-Officials/Regional-Offices
- Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters: Connecticut Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (CT VOAD) is a humanitarian association of independent voluntary organizations who may be active in all phases of disaster. Its mission is to foster efficient, streamlined service delivery to people affected by disasters, while eliminating unnecessary duplication of effort, through cooperation in the four phases of disaster: preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. VOAD operates a volunteer recruitment platform called Disaster Agency Response Technology (DART) which includes a comprehensive volunteer management system that provides the capacity for entities to:
- Register spontaneous/unaffiliated volunteers;
- Organize and assign unaffiliated volunteers or groups of volunteers by location, skills, and availability; and
- Communicate specific events and scheduled opportunities that unaffiliated volunteers can offer to support
If an organization needs volunteers, they can contact DART at CTVOAD@NVOAD.org. Once contacted the CT VOAD will walk the entity through the process to register in the DART system and make a request for volunteers.
- Community Emergency Response Team: Many municipalities in Connecticut have robust Community Emergency Response Team’s (CERT). These civil preparedness forces activate to assist their communities during disasters/emergencies. CERT Team Members can be utilized to support administrative roles and other activities for COVID-19 clinics and operations. To learn about your local CERT team or to inquire about the feasibility of deploying CERT volunteers to your COVID-19 operation please contact your local Emergency Management Director or your DEMHS Regional Coordinator.
- Medical Reserve Corps: There are 23 Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) chapters in CT. Members of the Medical Reserve Corps include medical and non-medical volunteers who are activated for public health or healthcare related missions in their communities. To learn about your local MRC or to inquire about the feasibility of deploying MRC volunteers to your COVID-19 operation please contact the regional MRC coordinators listed below. Prior to inquiring, a requestor should consider the purpose of the request, including location (address), duration, and the types of staff needed for fulfill the mission.