On November 4, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an advance copy of the Interim Final Rule (IFR) related to COVID-19 vaccines for most of the entities covered by applicable Conditions of Participation, Conditions for Coverage or Requirements for Participation.

The CMS rule requires that covered facilities establish a policy requiring that all eligible staff receive the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine by December 5, 2021 and complete their primary vaccination series by January 4, 2022, except for staff who have been granted an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination. The rule does not provide testing as an alternative to vaccination. According to the CMS FAQs, the CMS rule preempts any state law that is contrary to the CMS rule, and the CMS rules take priority over other federal vaccination rules and standards for facilities that participate in and are certified under the Medicare and Medicaid programs and are regulated by CMS health and safety standards known as the Conditions of Participation. The CMS rule is effective on November 5, 2021.

The table below provides a summary of the provisions of the CMS rule: https://bit.ly/3q7Dedn