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As the State of California moves to speed up the distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccinations, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order on Wednesday, January 27, 2021, that will help expand the state's vaccination administration capacity by safeguarding physicians and other health care professionals who administer vaccinations.

The order confirms that all COVID-19 vaccination efforts, whether administered through a private practice or public effort, are pursuant to the state's vaccine program and therefore safeguarded under existing law that protects physicians and other vaccine administrators from lawsuits when they render services at the request of state or local officials during a state of emergency. (See Government Code §8659). 

The order also proclaimed that "health care professionals and providers who render services during an emergency should not be subject to discipline for performing their duties consistent with standards of care prevailing during the emergency, and boards . . . responsible for professional discipline should ensure that such professionals' and providers' actions are assessed in the context of the standards of care, including any state waivers or health orders, in effect during an emergency, rather than the benefit of hindsight . . ." 

The order “will provide assurance to vaccinators that they are protected from professional discipline when otherwise performing their duties,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.

The text of the governor’s executive order can be found here.

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