Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare
The State of Washington has posted Interim Recommendations for Coadministration of COVID-19 Vaccine and TB Testing Products for Assisted Living facilities.
“Dear Assisted Living Facility Administrator:
Currently, tuberculosis (TB) testing requirements under WACs 388-78A-2484, -2480(1), and 2485(1) are suspended by the Department of Social and Health Services under WSR 20-24-060 due to lack of available testing statewide. However, we are aware that testing is becoming more available and you may be considering testing staff now. If you decide to test staff for TB, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published guidelines for timing TB testing and COVID-19 vaccination.
The CDC published “Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Authorized in the United States.” The information is located here: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html. Under the section titled “Laboratory Reporting,” the CDC provided recommendations about the timing of the administration of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine and Tuberculosis (TB) testing products.
For either a Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) or an interferon gamma release assay (IGRA) test, the CDC recommends placing the tests prior to administering COVID-19 vaccine. If vaccine was already administered or a decision is made that receiving the vaccine is a greater priority than TB testing, the CDC recommends waiting until four weeks after the two-step COVID-19 vaccination process is completed before administering the TB test. The CDC also recommends:
- Performing TB symptom screening on all healthcare personnel or residents, and
- All potential recipients of COVID-19 vaccination weigh the risks and benefits of delaying TST/IGRA with their providers.”
I encourage Assisted Living Administrators in other states to review the information provided in the CDC hyperlink above. The actual title for this section is Laboratory Testing. If you still have questions, contact your State’s AL licensure entity.
This CDC link provides helpful information for all post-acute settings so SNF/LTC and other providers should reference those recommendations as well.