Elevating the Post-Acute and
Long Term Care Profession

March 1, 2021


Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Gets Federal Go-Ahead. In a rapid-fire series of decisions on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, two federal agencies and two advisory committees all issued approvals for the Johnson & Johnson (also known as Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine. On Friday, the Vaccines and Related Biologicals Advisory Committee recommended that the Food and Drug Administration issue an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the vaccine, which it did on Saturday. Then yesterday, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorse the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine for individuals 18 and over, which it did later in the day. The official EUA is posted here, the vaccine fact sheet for providers here, the fact sheet for consumers here, and a frequently-asked questions document here. Johnson & Johnson announced it would begin shipping its vaccine immediately and pledged to make 20 million doses available by the end of the month. Governor Mike DeWine said, "more than 96,000 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be delivered to around 200 new independent pharmacy providers as well as chain pharmacies, hospitals, and health departments." This is in addition to 352,000 doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

State Opens Phases 1C and 2. Governor DeWine today announced that in response to the increased supply of vaccine, the state will open two new distribution phases on Thursday, March 4. Phase 1C includes people with certain medical conditions and who work in certain occupations (a total of 246,000).

Medical groups:

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Pregnant women
  • Bone marrow transplant recipients
  • ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)

Occupations:

  • Child care services
  • Funeral services
  • Law enforcement and corrections officers
Phase 2 includes individuals 60 and over (695,000). Vaccine provider sites can be located using the state's web page, which includes links for signing up for each site.

BWC Air Quality Webinar Slated for March 3: Special Attention for ID/DD and Inpatient Hospice Members. The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is repeating the webinar, "Reducing COVID-19 Transmission Through HVAC Improvements," on Wednesday, March 3, from 2:00 to 3:15 p.m. This webinar provides valuable information for anyone interested in taking steps to improve their indoor air quality to reduce COVID-19 transmission. The webinar also helps participants learn about the BWC Indoor Air Quality Assistance Program, which provides up to $15,000 in funding for eligible congregate care settings. These settings thankfully now include ICFs/IID, residential waiver homes, and inpatient hospices. BWC again extended the deadline for the Air Quality Assistance Program, this time to to June 30, 2021. While they have not yet updated their website with the new eligibility groups, we encourage ID/DD and inpatient hospice members to register for the webinar and to learn more. 

Temporary Nursing Licenses for Individuals Not Passing NCLEX Invalid Tomorrow. OHCA wishes to remind members employing nurses operating under a House Bill 197 temporary license that if these individuals have not yet taken and passed the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) for entry-level nurses, their temporary licenses expire March 2, 2021. An apparent glitch in the licensure database shows some of these temporary nurses as having an active license through October 2021, which is incorrect. OHCA reached out to the Board of Nursing about this discrepancy. If you have an employee with an invalid temporary license, they can work as a temporary nurse aide without completing nurse aide training and testing for the remainder of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. We encourage members to work with these entry-level nurses to help them prepare for and pass the NCLEX so they can return to performing nursing duties for your organization. 

DODD COVID-19 Resources. The Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) continues to provide resources for mitigating the risks of COVID-19. The following forms have been updated with the most recent guidance and can be found on DODD's website:

  1. COVID-19 Risk/Benefit Discussion Guide for Activities Outside the Home or Facility;

2. COVID-19 Symptom Monitoring Log.