Notice Regarding COVID-19 Vaccine Administration
Executive Order N-02-21: Vaccine administration by healing arts licensees
1) Pursuant to Government Code section 8659, any health care professional or provider identified in that section (including, but not limited to, any physician of any kind; any pharmacist; any dentist; or any registered nurse, nurse practitioner, or any other nurse of any kind)—or any person (including, but not limited to, any pharmacy technician) subject to the supervision or otherwise following the instructions of such health care professional or provider, consistent with applicable state directives and guidance (including, but not limited to, any applicable state waivers)—who participates in the State’s vaccine administration program shall be covered by the liability protections specified in Government Code section 8659, to the extent that the administered vaccines have been authorized for use under federal law.
2) With respect to any disciplinary proceedings or investigations related to vaccine administration, boards, bureaus, and committees within the Department of Consumer Affairs that regulate health care professionals or providers shall prioritize the investigation of complaints against licensees who have allegedly engaged in the diversion of COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine-administration supplies provided by the federal government, in violation of applicable federal requirements, for financial gain.
3) Nothing in this Order shall be construed to restrict, diminish, or otherwise limit any other immunity that would otherwise be available to any person under any applicable provision of law. In light of the emergency that currently exists throughout the State, and the urgent need to address that emergency by vaccinating Californians against COVID-19 as swiftly as possible, such immunities may include (but need not be limited to) immunities conferred by state law—including, but not limited to, Business and Professions Code section 2395 and Health and Safety Code section 1799.106—in connection with emergency services or care at the scene of an emergency.
COVID-19 Vaccine Administration by BVNPT Licensees
Please be advised that licensees of the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians may administer vaccines for COVID-19 under the direction of a physician. A Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) acting under the direction of a physician may perform immunization techniques on the general patient population, including administration by hypodermic injection, provided that such administration is upon the standing orders of a supervising physician, or pursuant to written guidelines adopted by a hospital or medical group with whom the supervising physician is associated. (Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 2860.5, subd. (a), 2860.7, subd. (a)(2).) Likewise, a licensed Psychiatric Technician (PT) may, when working in a mental health facility or developmental disability facility, perform immunization techniques on a patient with a mental illness or developmental disability, including administration by hypodermic injection, provided that such administration is upon the standing orders of a supervising physician, or pursuant to written guidelines adopted by a hospital or medical group with whom the supervising physician is associated. (Bus. & Prof. Code §§ § 4502.1, § 4502.3, subd. (a)(2).) These laws may be found at https://www.bvnpt.ca.gov/about_us/laws.shtml. If you have any questions concerning the scope of practice for licensees of the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians, including the administration of vaccines for COVID-19, please submit your questions by email to email@example.com. Thank you.
Update – 1/11/2021
On January 7, 2021, the California Department of Public Health released new guidance on vaccine prioritization. The guidance recognized the need to balance the prioritization of scarce vaccine resources with the goal of achieving community immunity for all Californians. Additionally, the guidance 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 Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians (BVNPT) previously provided licensees with information on their role in maintaining COVID-19 phase structure as they administer the COVID-19 vaccine. The BVNPT is incorporating this new guidance and any future guidance issued into its review and evaluation of complaints that could result in disciplinary actions against licensees involved in COVID-19 administration.
With respect to vaccine prioritization, the BVNPT prioritizes the investigation of complaints against licensees who engage in the diversion of COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine administration supplies provided by the federal government that is undertaken for financial gain in violation of applicable federal and state guidance.
This guidance updates the guidance released on 12/31/2020
As the COVID-19 vaccines are distributed, the Board of Vocational Nursing & Psychiatric Technicians is supporting the State’s effort to ensure that all providers follow the standards for allocating and administering COVID-19 vaccines. In particular, the Board of Vocational Nursing & Psychiatric Technicians licensees must adhere to the current federal and state prioritization standards for allocating and administering COVID-19 vaccines in phases. The standards are available at the California Department of Public Health Drafting Guidelines Workgroup.
For more information, please see the Board’s Notice Regarding COVID-19 Vaccine Administration.