In an effort to further advance COVID-19 vaccination, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is encouraging general acute care hospitals and acute psychiatric hospitals to vaccinate patients prior to discharge. CDPH makes this recommendation in All Facilities Letter (AFL) 21-20 , which was released on June 9.
Specifically, CDPH recommends that general acute care hospitals and acute psychiatric hospitals offer the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible individuals prior to discharge from hospital admission, 24-hour observation, or emergency department. They specifically identify patients at highest risk of morbidity and mortality from COVID-19, including:
- Patients ages 65 and older
- Patients being discharged to congregate care or residential settings, including post-acute medical facilities, skilled-nursing facilities, residential care facilities for the elderly, correctional facilities, behavioral health facilities, and homeless shelters
- Psychiatric patients being discharged
The AFL also contains technical assistance about how hospitals in and outside of the state’s vaccination network administered by third-party administrator Blue Shield can operationalize such vaccination of patients.