COVID-19 Update for Virginia
April 5, 2022
Thank you for your continued partnership in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) website for current clinical and public health guidance, epidemiologic data, and other information.
Second COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Booster Doses
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved the option of, a second booster dose of an mRNA vaccine for individuals aged 50 years and older, and for those who are immunocompromised. CDC also approved the option of a second mRNA booster dose for those who received a Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine for both their primary series and booster dose.
- If selected, the second booster dose should be given at least 4 months after the first booster.
- VDH concurs with offering the options above, and encourages provider-patient conversation for individual cases (VDH press release and VDH revised vaccine standing order).
COVID-19 Lab Reporting Updates
- A variance to the Disease Reporting and Control Regulations became effective on April 4, 2022 to exempt Virginia physicians, laboratories, and directors of medical facilities from reporting negative or inconclusive SARS-CoV-2 antigen test results and all SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing results.
- Results that entities should continue to report:
- All (positive, negative, and inconclusive) Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAAT).
- All POSITIVE antigen tests.
- Full guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can be found here.
HRSA Ending Reimbursement for COVID-19 Testing, Vaccines, and Therapeutics
- Due to a lack of funding from Congress, the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) COVID-19 Uninsured Program stopped accepting claims for testing and treatment on March 22.
- The Uninsured Program and the COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund will stop accepting vaccination claims starting on April 5.
- While conversations are underway to find a funding solution, vaccines should be provided to all persons aged 5 years and older regardless of insurance status.
- Visit the HRSA website for more information.
Possible FDA Deauthorization of Sotrovimab in Virginia
- New data included in the EUA package insert indicates that the current dose of sotrovimab is unlikely to be effective against the Omicron BA.2 subvariant.
- On March 25, FDA deauthorized sotrovimab use in HHS Region 1 (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT) and Region 2 (NY, NJ, PR, Virgin Islands). On March 30, FDA deauthorized sotrovimab in HHS Region 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI), Region 9 (AZ, CA, HI, NV, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, and Republic of Palau, and Region 10 (AK, ID, OR, WA).
- Reason for deauthorization is that the prevalence of Omicron BA.2 variant > 50% of cases in HHS Regions above.
- Current Omicron BA.2 prevalence in Region 3 (includes VA) is estimated at 48.3%. While sotrovimab is currently authorized for use in VA, medical providers may wish to use alternate COVID-19 therapeutics such as Paxlovid, the preferred drug for COVID-19 treatment per the NIH Treatment Guidelines, remdesivir (Veklury), bebtelovimab, or molnupiravir (Lagevrio).
Thank you for your continued partnership as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Colin M. Greene, MD, MPH
Acting State Health Commissioner