Board of Medicine Meeting Highlights March 1 Deadline for Updated COVID Vaccination Status
On Wednesday, the DC Board of Medicine held its monthly open meeting. The agenda included important updates for physicians including the rapidly approaching March 1 deadline for the COVID-19 booster mandate. The requirement is part of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s action plan to maintain a downward trend in COVID cases since the height of the Omicron wave.
The Board of Medicine emphasized the DC mandate that health professionals get “up-to-date” on vaccination and attest to their status. A February 8 Emergency Rulemaking updated the definition of full “up-to-date” vaccination to mean that “a person has received all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses, including any booster dose(s) and annual vaccine doses, when eligible for such doses.” To fully comply with this requirement, providers must not only receive the booster but also provide attestation (or report exemption status). The requirement is summarized below with more comprehensive information at the end of this article.
Who does this impact?
The rulemaking applies to
- Health professionals who are licensed, registered, or certified by the Department of Health, and
- Unlicensed personnel in a healthcare setting.
What is required?
- Receive all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses, i.e. (1) a primary series of: (a) two shots of Pfizer or Moderna or (b) one Jansen/Johnson shot, and (2) a booster shot by March 1, 2022
- Report vaccine status via https://doh.force.com/ver/s/vaccinereporting.
- Individuals who meet the requirements for an exemption to the vaccine mandate will be able to submit a request but must report the exemption status via the portal.
During the monthly meeting, the Executive Director also provided an update on DC licensees. Ms. Aisha Nixon reported that there are 11,948 licensed physicians (MD, DO) in the District, an increase of 104 over last month. The complete licensure census is:
MEDICINE AND SURGERY 11,401
OSTEOPATHY AND SURGERY 547
ANESTHESIOLOGIST ASSISTANT 106
MEDICAL TRAINING LICENSE I(A) 1,188
MEDICAL TRAINING LICENSE I(B) 327
MEDICAL TRAINING LICENSE I,I22
MEDICAL TRAINING REGISTRANT 997
NATUROPATH PHYSICIAN 63
PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT 1,043
POLYSOMNOGRAPHIC TECHNICIAN 2
POLYSOMNOGRAPHIC TECHNOLOGIST 63
POLYSOMNOGRAPHIC TRAINEE 2
SURGICAL ASSISTANT 112
CHINESE HERBOLOGY 4
The next Board of Medicine meeting will take place at 8:30 AM on March 30, 2022
NOTICE FROM DC HEALTH
VACCINE BOOSTER REQUIRED BY MARCH 1, 2022
Vaccination and Booster Attestation
On August 27, 2021, regulations were issued requiring the following individuals receive the first dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine (i.e., Moderna or Pfizer) or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine no later than September 30, 2021:
• Health professionals who are licensed, registered, or certified by the Department of Health, and
• Unlicensed personnel in a Healthcare setting.
On February 8, 2022, an emergency rulemaking was adopted and effective immediately on that date. This rulemaking modifies sections 230 and 231 of Chapter 2 (Communicable and Reportable Diseases) of Subtitle B (Public Health and Medicine) of Title 22 (Health) of the DCMR to require health care workers to be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccine. This rulemaking, requires health professional and unlicensed personnel to be “up to date” on COVID-19 vaccines. At this time, this means:
(1) a primary series of:
(a) two shots of Pfizer or Moderna or (b) one Jansen/Johnson shot, and
(2) a booster shot by March 1, 2022.
The phrase “up to date” means a person has received all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses, including any booster dose(s) and annual vaccine doses, when eligible for such doses, as set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A copy of the relevant regulations is attached.
To assist in this process, DC Health has created an online booster vaccine reporting portal which can be accessed by going to https://doh.force.com/ver/s/vaccinereporting. All licensed and unlicensed health care workers must report their vaccine status via this online tool. Individuals who meet the requirements for an exemption to the vaccine mandate will also be able to submit a request for an exemption via this portal. To obtain an exemption, individuals must meet one of the following requirements:
Failure to meet this requirement can result in disciplinary action including suspension and revocation of a health professional’s license.
For licensed and unlicensed personnel, no Healthcare facility, after, regardless of the date of hire, shall employ, contract, or grant privileges to a person who is not up to date.
Please follow the below instructions for requesting an exemption.
• For religious exemptions, individuals will need to upload a letter, stating that their vaccination against COVID-19 would violate a sincerely held religious belief and the vaccination would in fact violate a sincerely held religious belief of the person.
• For medical exemption requests, individuals will need to provide the name and license number of the healthcare provider who issued the medical exemption, and then upload a written letter from that licensed healthcare provider stating that being vaccinated against COVID-19 is medically inadvisable due to the person’s medical condition and it is in fact medically inadvisable for the person to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
• For the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) exemption, individuals will need to upload proof of vaccination of a W.H.O. approved vaccine and provide dates of vaccination.
All exemptions must be reviewed and approved by DC Health. Please allow time for the review and approval process.
If you want a copy of your submission for your records, please print or take a screen shot before you hit the Submit button. You will receive an email thank you message.