New CDC Expands Eligibility of COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters to Individuals Ages 5 and Above
Last week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), upon the recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP), expanded the eligibility of COVID-19 vaccine boosters to all individuals ages 5 and above. The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) released an updated guidance document on administering COVID-19 booster doses based on the FDA approval.
Note: Children ages 5 to 11 can only receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from vials with orange caps. These vials are diluted with 1.3 mL of 0.9% NaCl to yield 10 does of 0.2 mL (10 mcg) for injection.
Reminder: Pfizer Resources for Paxlovid COVID-19 Oral Therapeutic
Pfizer has created resources for healthcare providers (HCPs) about their COVID-19 oral therapeutic Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir, ritonavir tablets). Their general website Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir tablets; ritonavir tablets) For HCPs includes a therapeutic locator to assist patients and providers in providing information on nearby providers who stock the medication. The Pfizer Paxlovid Drug Interaction Checker site lets providers check for drug-drug interactions with Paxlovid.
Reminder: Merck Resources for Lagevrio COVID-19 Oral Therapeutic
Merck has made clinical resources for HCPs about their COVID-19 oral therapeutic Lagevrio (molnupiravir). Their website, Lagevrio (molnupiravir) For HCPs, has information on inclusion and exclusion criteria for using the oral therapeutic. Additionally, providers can access factsheets in English and Spanish for providers and patients.
Reminder: HRSA Information on COVID-19 Test to Treat Program
In support of the Biden-Harris administration's Test to Treat Initiative, the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has shared resources for all health centers with pharmacy capacity to participate. The Test to Treat sites must provide comprehensive end-to-end services to all individuals, regardless of insurance status, with onsite or at-home testing resources. The site must be able to provide a clinical evaluation by a licensed health care provider with prescribing capabilities. Pharmacies associated with a prescriber's office can participate. For further information about the program, here is the HRSA Health Center COVID-19 Therapeutics Program | Bureau of Primary Health Care website. Providers can submit an inquiry regarding the Test to Treat program through the Health Center Program Support online and select "Coronavirus Inquiries (COVID-19)" as the issue type, or call 877-464-4772, option 2, 8 am to 8 pm ET, Monday-Friday (except federal holidays).
Reminder: ODH Updates Guidance on Ordering, Storage, and Handling of COVID-19 Vaccines
ODH updated their guidance on ordering, storage, and handling of all available COVID-19 vaccines. This update has easy to follow guides on the different COVID-19 vaccine vials available for specific age groups. The guidance also includes information on storing vials following the expiration extensions for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine vials and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine vials. If you have further questions, please email COVIDVACCINE@odh.ohio.gov or call 1-844-9ODHVAX (1-844-963-4829) from 8 am to 5:30 pm Monday through Friday.
Reminder: FDA Updates At Home COVID-19 Diagnostic Test Expiration Information
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated their COVID-19 diagnostic test webpage to include expiration date information in their At Home OTC COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests webpage. This is to help consumers find information in a centralized location. Additionally, the At-Home COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests: Frequently Asked Questions webpage was also updated to include information on using COVID-19 diagnostic tests after they pass their listed expiration date and exposure to extreme temperatures.
Reminder: ODH Announces COVID-19 Therapeutics for Pharmacies
ODH announced that they are expanding their oral and injectable COVID-19 therapeutic provider network to include pharmacy providers. This expansion will allow ODH to ship the Pfizer oral therapeutic Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir tablets and ritonavir tablets, co-packaged for oral use) and the Merck oral therapeutic, Molnupiravir for dispensing in pharmacies. A short onboarding process is required to receive these shipments. If your pharmacy is part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy (FRP) partnership, use this ODH Therapeutics FRPP Information Document. If your pharmacy is not part of the federal retail pharmacy network, use this ODH Therapeutics Site Information Document. Both documents contain information about enrollment, reporting, therapeutics locator, wastage management, and additional reference documents.
Reminder: Medicaid Patients Eligible for $100 Incentive for First COVID-19 Vaccine and All Booster Doses
ODH and Ohio’s Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) announced continued and additional incentives for Medicaid and MyCare patients to receive their COVID-19 vaccine series and booster shots. Here is additional information:
Reminder: $100 COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Fee
ODM and Ohio’s MCOs announced that the administration fee for COVID-19 vaccines is $100 for all COVID-19 shots, including first, second, and booster doses for Medicaid members, has been extended to June 30, 2022. See further details on the https://www.covidvaxonthespot.com/providers/ Provider and Pharmacy Resources webpage. The MCO leadership encourages pharmacies to assist Medicaid patients with accessing first, second, and booster shots through phone calls, walk-in appointments, and other personalized outreach.
OPA is working diligently to facilitate communication between state decision-makers and member pharmacists. OPA has created multiple COVID-19 resources, including a COVID-19 Vaccine Information Webpage, COVID-19 Testing Hub, and COVID-19 Resources Webpage, on the OPA website www.ohiopharmacists.org under the Resources drop-down box. Please contact Myriam Shaw Ojeda, Director of Pharmacy Extension and Public Health Initiatives, for further questions at email@example.com.