- Johnson & Johnson (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine Expiration Update - On July 28, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) extended the expiration date for the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine to six months. After a thorough review of the data, FDA authorized the extension of the shelf-life of vaccine stored in proper conditions from four and a half months to six months. CDC is asking recipients to do the following:
- Continue to use the inventory you have to prevent loss of vaccine.
- Before ordering more supply, look within your jurisdictions and regions to transfer internally to optimize vaccine use.
- VA Mandates COVID-19 Vaccines Among Its Medical Employees Including VHA Facilities Staff: On July 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough announced that the VA will make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for Title 38 VA health care personnel — including physicians, dentists, podiatrists, optometrists, registered nurses, physician assistants, expanded-function dental auxiliaries and chiropractors — who work in Veterans Health Administration facilities, visit VHA facilities, or provide direct care to those VA serves. Each employee will have eight weeks to be fully vaccinated.
- FDA revised the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for REGEN-COV (casirivimab and imdevimab, administered together): On July 30, 2021, the FDA revised the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for REGEN-COV (casirivimab and imdevimab, administered together) to add an authorization of REGEN-COV for emergency use as post-exposure prophylaxis (prevention) for COVID-19 in adults and pediatric individuals (12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kilograms) who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death. REGEN-COV is not authorized for pre-exposure prophylaxis to prevent COVID-19 before being exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus - only after exposure to the virus. REGEN-COV should only be used as post-exposure prophylaxis for specific patient populations. Prophylaxis with REGEN-COV is not a substitute for vaccination against COVID-19. FDA has authorized three vaccines to prevent COVID-19 and serious clinical outcomes caused by COVID-19, including hospitalization and death. FDA urges people to get vaccinated if they are eligible. Learn more about FDA’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts.
- Extended Coverage of the PREP act: On July 30, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) extended the coverage of the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) to allow pharmacy techs and interns with proper training to administer seasonal flu vaccines to adults.
- Canceled- Vaccine Unit Pharmacy Office Hours: August sessions have been canceled due to Dr. Fauci Webinar and Virginia Pharmacists Association (VPhA) annual convention on August 13–14
- For questions about VaxMaX and its functionality, please visit the VaxMaX Help website, which includes reference guides and tutorial videos.
Best Practice Spotlight
- Click here to view VDH's updated Summary of COVID-19 Vaccine Coding, Billing & Reimbursement Regulations. Updates to note include reimbursement information for vaccines administered in the home and contact information for Virginia Medicaid and HRSA.
- CDC’s Public Health Grand Rounds: The Role of Preventive Medicine in Occupational Health & Safety. Public Health Grand Rounds will continue to share important new content while our monthly sessions are on hold. This month we spotlight the role the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) plays in Preventive Medicine..
- Date: August 4, 2021 Time: 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm (ET) Remote Participation Only
- CDC’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Connects Webinar highlights California’s COVID-19 Responder Safety and Health Program. This webinar will detail the experiences of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) while implementing a responder safety and health program to protect its staff during the COVID-19 response. Presenters will also discuss coordinating across centers to improve responder safety protocols and lessons they learned in rostering, tracking, and monitoring deployed staff.
- Date: August 11, 2021 Time: 1:00 pm -Dial-In: (669) 254-5252 (Audio only), Meeting ID: 1612411865, Passcode: 569595, Web Link: click here
- COVID-19 Leadership - Best Practices for Team Leads Training Program. Launching in early August 2021, this virtual skills-based course is designed for public health leaders who manage case investigators and contact tracers supporting COVID-19 programs. Please click here to register.
- On July 27, 2021, CDC announced changes to its guidance based on concerning trends in COVID-19 infections and emerging data about the more contagious Delta (B.1.617.2) variant. In areas with substantial and high transmission, CDC recommends that everyone (including fully vaccinated individuals) wear a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent the spread of the Delta variant and protect others.
- CDC also recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.
- CDC Science Brief: Background Rationale and Evidence for Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People - Data were added from studies published since the last update that demonstrate currently authorized mRNA vaccines provide protection against variants of concern, including the Delta variant that is now predominant in the United States. Vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization and death is high for all current SARS-CoV-2 variants; emerging data suggest lower effectiveness against confirmed infection and symptomatic disease caused by the Beta, Gamma, and Delta variants compared with the ancestral strain and the Alpha variant.
- When You've Been Fully Vaccinated - Updated information for fully vaccinated people given new evidence on the Delta variant currently circulating in the United States.
- Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Cruise Ship Color and Commercial Travel Status - Table that lists cruise ships operating or planning to operate in U.S. waters that have met the requirements of the CSO was updated.
- COVID-19: One Year Later Vaccine Rollout, Implications for Community Recovery, and Critical Gaps That Remain - The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released this new report, which analyzes how participants of their Sentinel Communities Project responded to the pandemic. VDH Vaccination FAQs - Updated information about masks, status of full FDA approval for Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, cases in vaccinated individuals, Guillain-Barré syndrome after receiving J&J COVID-19 vaccine, and vaccine effectiveness studies.
- CDC and the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have developed the Minority Health Social Vulnerability Index (SVI). The new tool is intended to enhance existing resources to support the identification of racial and ethnic minority communities at the greatest risk for disproportionate impact and adverse outcomes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Minority Health SVI is an extension of the CDC Social Vulnerability Index, which is a platform that helps emergency response planners and public health officials identify, map, and plan support for communities that will most likely need support before, during, and after a public health emergency.
- COVID-19 Vaccine Safety in Adolescents Aged 12–17 Years — United States, December 14, 2020–July 16, 2021. Local and systemic reactions after vaccination with Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were commonly reported by adolescents aged 12–17 years to U.S. vaccine safety monitoring systems, especially after dose 2. A small proportion of these reactions are consistent with myocarditis. Y
- Recording of A Conversation with Dr. Fauci and Healthcare Providers. In Collaboration with VDH, Dr. Fauci discussed how healthcare providers can address vaccine hesitancy and educate patients about the COVID-19 Vaccine.
Information about the COVID-19 vaccination program is changing frequently. This newsletter will offer regular updates to providers who have submitted an intent to vaccinate or signed the CDC provider agreement within Virginia.