Updates to Frequently Asked Questions: NHSN Weekly COVID-19 Vaccination Modules

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

[The following information was released via email just a few minutes ago on Monday, January 24, 2022.]

In November 2021, the NHSN COVID-19 Vaccination Team held webinars that reviewed frequently asked questions (FAQs) and data entry for the COVID-19 Vaccination Modules. Based on feedback received during these webinars, from the NHSN helpdesk, and from other stakeholders, we have clarified our guidance regarding how to report COVID-19 vaccination data for individuals considered vendors, and how to report an individual who has a medical contraindication after receiving the first dose of a primary series COVID-19 vaccine. The revised FAQs are as follows; updates and clarifications are bolded in purple: FAQs on Reporting COVID-19 Vaccination Data | NHSN | CDC.


Previously, an NHSN FAQ instructed users not to include vendors as healthcare personnel. After receiving stakeholder feedback, we have decided to update the vaccination reporting guidance to include vendors under ‘other contract personnel’ if they regularly work in the facility, regardless of clinical responsibility or patient contact. We ask that you begin reporting vendors moving forward. If possible, please revise data reported for prior weeks in accordance with this new guidance.

Under the Data Reporting: General Section

Q14. Vendors or sales representatives come into my facility or unit and may be present during surgeries or other patient care activities. Should we count these vendors in the other contract personnel category?

Yes, vendors providing care, treatment, or services should be included in the other contract personnel category if they work in the facility on a regular (weekly) basis, regardless of clinical responsibility or patient contact.

Under the Data Reporting: General Section

Q15. Please provide examples of contracted and vendor HCP who should be included in NHSN COVID-19 Vaccination reporting.

The list below includes examples of contracted and vendor HCP who provide direct patient care and who perform non-direct or non-patient care duties. This list is not exhaustive. 

Contracted and vendor HCP can include the following non-employee care providers who may or may not be involved in patient care:

  • Admitting staff/clerical support/registrars
  • Agency nurses
  • Ambulance drives (who enter the facility to assist with transportation)
  • Biomedical engineers
  • Central supply staff
  • Chaplains
  • Construction workers (working inside the facility)
  • Dietary/food service staff
  • Dieticians
  • Dialysis technicians
  • EKG technicians
  • EMG technicians
  • Home health aides
  • Housekeeping staff
  • Information Technology staff
  • Laboratory: Phlebotomists
  • Laboratory: Technicians
  • Landscapers (working inside the facility)
  • Laundry staff
  • Maintenance staff/engineers
  • Nursing aides
  • Occupational therapists
  • Patient care technicians
  • Patient transporters
  • Pharmacists
  • Pharmacy/medication technicians
  • Physical therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Psychology technicians/Mental health workers
  • Radiology: X-ray technicians
  • Recreational therapists/Music therapists
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Security staff
  • Social workers/Case managers
  • Speech therapists
  • Surgical technicians
  • Traveling nurses
  • Ultrasound technicians
  • Utilization review nurses


In accordance with CDC’s latest definition of a medical contraindication, we have clarified that an individual who has a severe allergic reaction after one dose of a COVID-19 should be classified as a medical contraindication rather than a partial vaccination.

Under the Data Reporting: General Section

Q30. An individual received the first dose of an initial COVID-19 vaccine but had a severe allergic reaction to this. As a result, the individual did not receive the second vaccine dose. How should we categorize this individual?

The individual should be categorized in question 3.1 as having a medical contraindication to COVID-19 vaccine due to their severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Facilities can also contact CDC with questions at: NHSN@cdc.gov using ‘COVID-19 vaccination’ in the subject line of the message.

Thank you,

NHSN COVID-19 Vaccination Team