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Health Professionals and Healthcare Workers
Virginia Department of Health’s (VDH)’s up-to-date resources relevant to health professionals and their responses to COVID-19 in Virginia. This page includes information on vaccination, treatment, testing, and other COVID-19 topics.
Thank you for your continued work to protect the health and well-being of all Virginians.
VDH COVID-19 Resources
- Long-Term & Residential Care
- Testing & Laboratory
- Variants and Therapeutics - With variants continuing to evolve and the potential impacts on available therapeutics, VDH continues to update this resource to help providers stay up to date on what COVID-19 drugs are expected to be effective. (PDF) (3pp, 327kb)
Hot Topics for Health Professionals
HHS Awards $45 Million in Grants to Expand Access to Care for People with Long COVID
September 22, 2023 – On September 20,b2023 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced nine grant awards of $1 million each for up to 5 years to support existing multidisciplinary Long COVID clinics across the country to expand access to comprehensive care for people with Long COVID, particularly among populations that are disproportionately impacted by the effects of Long COVID. These clinics "will focus on increasing access to care, improving person-centered care coordination, expanding multidisciplinary networks and behavioral health support, and expanding social support services for adult, pediatric, and priority populations through strategies." For more information, please see the HHS press release.
Updates on COVID-19 Vaccine Commercialization
September 14, 2023- COVID-19 vaccines are now available directly from manufacturers, rather than from the U.S. government. However, there will be little impact for most people receiving the vaccine as they will still likely receive a COVID-19 vaccine at no cost:
- People with private or employer-based health insurance coverage will likely receive COVID-19 vaccination at no cost since it will be covered as a preventive service.
- Medicare Part B will continue to cover COVID-19 vaccinations at no cost to the patient.
- Medicaid will continue to cover COVID-19 vaccinations through September 30, 2024.
- Uninsured children will be able to receive COVID-19 vaccines through the existing Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. This initiative provides vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of their inability to pay.
- Uninsured and underinsured adults will have access to free COVID-19 vaccines through the Virginia Vaccines for Adults program which is funded by CDC’s Bridge Access Program through December 2024.
Healthcare providers who want to provide COVID-19 vaccines to uninsured individuals should visit the Virginia Vaccines for Adults Bridge and Virginia Vaccines for Children programs to enroll. For more information on commercialization, please review the VDH COVID-19 Vaccine Commercialization FAQ or submit your inquiry at the VDH Immunization webpage.
CDC Recommends 2023-2024 COVID-19 Vaccine Schedule
September 14, 2023- On September 11, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved and authorized the use of updated COVID-19 mRNA vaccines manufactured by Moderna and Pfizer. These are monovalent vaccines that target the Omicron XBB.1.5 variant. On September 12, 2023, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted that everyone aged 6 months or older should receive an updated 2023–2024 COVID-19 vaccine and CDC endorsed these recommendations. People previously vaccinated for COVID-19 can receive the vaccine at least 2 months after their last dose, and providers can check the Virginia Immunization Information System (VIIS) to confirm a patient’s vaccine history. Additional guidance is available in CDC’s Interim Clinical Considerations.
Updated COVID-19 vaccines can better prevent medically attended SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19 hospital admissions
August 21, 2023 – A comprehensive review of records from more than 2 million COVID-19 infected patients in Singapore indicates that a booster dose with the recently updated (bivalent) COVID-19 vaccine was markedly better (vaccine effectiveness (VE) 86%) than another dose of the earlier (monovalent) vaccine (VE: 0) at preventing health system visits by patients.
VE against COVID-19-related hospital admissions from the bivalent vaccine was 88% vs. 16% in those boosted with the older vaccine. Although a new monovalent COVID-19 vaccine is about to replace the current bivalent vaccine used in this study, these results still indicate that a vaccine with a better antigen match against currently circulating SARS-COV-2 variants is likely to provide better protection.
Significant activity limitations among adult Long COVID patients
August 14, 2023 – U.S. Census Bureau survey data indicate that the population proportion of adults aged60 years old and older with significant Long COVID-related activity limitation steadily decreased from June 2022 to January 2023 but then remained stable from January to June 2023. Among people aged 60-79 years, no decrease was noted.
In June 2023, more than one-quarter of Long COVID patients had significant activity limitations. (Other data suggest that such people were less likely to work full-time and more likely to be unemployed.) Because Long COVID can follow infection with even the “milder” Omicron variants, avoidance of COVID-19 (and thus of Long COVID) continues to be important. Clinicians should keep reminding their patients about the importance of avoiding SARS-CoV-2 infection (and thus Long COVID) through vaccination and prevention of exposure.
Local metrics to determine broader use of source control:
- CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker
- VDH emergency department visits for COVID-like illness
- CDC RESP-NET interactive dashboard
- National Emergency Department Visits for COVID-19, Influenza, and RSV
Johnson and Johnson/Janssen: https://vaxcheck.jnj/
Vaccine Confidence Training and Tool Kit (ACOG) This training course is intended to teach obstetricians, gynecologists, and obstetric care clinicians about the importance of increasing your patients' vaccine confidence and demand—and techniques to apply in your practice. The decision to get vaccinated will greatly reduce your patients' chances of severe COVID-19 illness or death and having pregnancy complications from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Last Updated: September 22, 2023