October 21: Workforce Vaccine and Booster Shots, New CDC Reports Show Cases and Deaths by Vax Status, Update NM Workforce App for Accurate Attestations
Today’s issue features information about how to schedule COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters, as well as an update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about the agency’s new COVID-19 case reporting system. It also includes details about updating the NM Workforce app to ensure accurate daily symptom attestations.
WORKFORCE VACCINE AND BOOSTER SHOTS STILL AVAILABLE Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster appointments continue to be available for the workforce across Northwestern Medicine. First and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine are also available.
You will need to make an appointment for a booster by clicking here (login required).
You do not need an appointment for your first or second vaccine dose. You may walk in anytime during the clinic hours.
To be eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster, you must have completed the Pfizer two-dose series at least six months ago, with both doses documented in your employee health record.
Members of the legacy Palos Health workforce will need to make sure they have completed the authorization form to allow their vaccination record to be moved from Epic to their NM employee health record. You will not be eligible for a booster if your employee health record does not have documentation of the first two Pfizer doses. Access the authorization form on this page (login required), under “Attention South Region/Palos Employees.”
If you received your first two doses outside of NM, you must upload your documentation to your employee health record. Documentation can be submitted through the immunization upload process on NM Interactive by following this path: NMI > Resources > Safety & Risk > Immunization Doc Upload. Please use this tip sheet for additional support.
Effective January 1, 2022, proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be a requirement of NM employment and to provide care at an NM hospital. Proof of a COVID-19 booster is not part of the vaccine requirement.
NEW CDC REPORTS SHOW CASES AND DEATHS BY VACCINATION STATUS The CDC now provides weekly data on COVID-19 cases and deaths based on vaccination status. The new report illustrates the differences in illness and mortality rates between those who have received the vaccine and those who have not. The highest rates of cases and deaths are among those who did not get vaccinated.
UPDATE NM WORKFORCE APP FOR ACCURATE ATTESTATIONS Daily COVID-19 screening continues to be required for physicians, employees and contractors who enter NM facilities. The CDC and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) still require symptom screening for physicians and employees upon entering healthcare facilities.
Many physicians and employees cross between administrative and clinical spaces. To keep patients, visitors and colleagues safe, regardless of where you work within the system, please make sure your team knows that they must complete symptom attestation and stay home if they are sick. In addition, OSHA requires employers to screen each member of the workforce before every shift and note those screen positive.
The NM Workforce app used for daily symptom attestation has been updated several times to reflect revised questions based on factors such as vaccination status. To ensure you have the most up-to-date functionality and are submitting the correct information when completing your attestation, please verify that you have the most updated version of the app:
Vaccination continues to be the most effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19, reduce deaths and bring this pandemic to an end. Please continue to educate your patients regarding the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. Information regarding the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters will be available soon. Thank you for all you do every day to provide exceptional care to the patients and communities we are privileged to serve.
Gary A. Noskin, MD Senior Vice President, Quality Northwestern Memorial HealthCare Chief Medical Officer Northwestern Memorial Hospital