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OPA COVID-19 Vaccines: October 25, 2021 Update


New
Booster Doses Approved for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine

Last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reviewed authorizations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and had recommended the following:

Moderna Booster Dose:
Individuals who received the Moderna vaccine for the primary vaccine series can receive a booster dose. Note: The Moderna booster dose is NOT the same dosage given for the primary series (0.5 mL). The booster dose is a half-dose (0.25 mL), and providers will need to draw the appropriate dosage for boosters. Additional ancillary supplies will be provided.

Eligible individuals for this booster dose should have received their booster shot at least six months after the initial series. These individuals include:

  • 65 years and older.
  • Age 18 and older who live in long-term care settings.
  • Age 18 and older who have underlying medical conditions.
  • Age 18 and older who work or live in high-risk settings.

Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) Booster Dose
All recipients who received the single-dose J&J vaccine over 18 can get a booster dose at least two months from the initial dose. The J&J booster dose is the exact dosage as the first dose.

NewMix-and-Match Doses 
Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may prefer the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. This mix-and-match approach applies only to booster doses according to this guidance from the FDA. The primary series of the two-dose mRNA vaccines must be from the same product.

NewState and Federal Information Support for Booster Doses 
Ohio COVID-19 vaccine providers can begin offering booster doses. Eligible booster recipients must be asked to attest to one of the qualifying conditions, but specific proof will not be required. ODH is advising that it may take eligible Ohioans 2-3 weeks to get their booster dose and is emphasizing that there will be many opportunities to receive these boosters in their local community, whether they walk in to get their third dose or make an appointment with a nearby provider. Ohioans will be able to schedule an appointment online at gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov or by phone at 1-833-427-5634.

UPDATED RESOURCES:

NewPharmacy COVID-19 Financial Incentive for Medicaid Population

Ohio’s Medicaid Managed Care Group has announced a new Rx Bonus Program that could earn your pharmacy up to $10,000 by the end of the year.

Rules of participation in the Rx Bonus Program:

  • Pharmacy must have provided at least fifty (50) vaccinations for COVID-19 to Medicaid MCO enrollees between June 15, 2021, and September 15, 2021, as determined by claims data
  • Pharmacy must have the capability to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to Medicaid MCO enrollees between October 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021

How the Rx Bonus Program works:
Each pharmacy will have a baseline vaccination goal.

  • Based on claims data, the baseline will be set based on each Pharmacy location’s delivery of vaccines to Medicaid MCO members 12+ between June 15 and September 15.
    • Bonus payment will be based on vaccination doses delivered to Medicaid MCO members 12+ between October 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021. (Claims must be received no later than January 31, 2022)
  • Each Pharmacy location will be eligible to receive a vaccine incentivebonus based on their percentage improvement against the Baseline Target as follows:
    • Improvement > 50%but < 75%over the baseline = $5,000.00
    • Improvement > 75% but < 100%over the baseline = $7,500.00
    • Improvement > 100% baseline = $10,000.00 
  • Vaccination IncentiveBonus will be paid out no later than March 31, 2022.
  • Indicate your interest in the program by answering this survey: Rx Vaccine Bonus Program Interest Survey

Who benefits from the Rx Bonus Program:
Rx Bonus Payments must be distributed to the specific Pharmacy location’s staff (pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, pharmacy interns, and any other staff directly supporting the pharmacy function). Each pharmacy has the discretion to determine the distribution amounts to staff.

Rx Bonus Program toolkit to help reach patients:
The MCOs will share a toolkit to assist pharmacies in reaching out to patients for a final 2021 appeal to get vaccinated against COVID-19. These resources will help pharmacies inform patients of the $100 incentive for all Medicaid members over 12 years. It will also remind them that they only have until the end of the year to receive their gift card when they are vaccinated at a local pharmacy.

Tools include:

  • Social Media posts
  • Text messages
  • Outbound call scripts

If you have any questions about this program, please contact Meera Patel-Zook; [email protected] and Nick Trego at [email protected]. Please respond to this survey as soon as possible with your interest: Rx Vaccine Bonus Program Interest Survey.

Vaccinating eligible children is crucial to protecting children from the severity of COVID-19 infections and increasing the likelihood of continued in-person teaching in Ohio’s schools. Governor DeWine announced the Ohio Vax-2-School program for Ohioans ages 12 to 25. All vaccinated individuals in this age bracket are eligible for 50 scholarships worth $10,000 each and five $100,000 scholarships to an Ohio college or university for career or technical education.  Registration is open for all eligible Ohioans at www.ohiovax2school.com. Prizes will be announced after an anticipated request from Pfizer to approve their COVID-19 vaccine through an emergency use authorization for children ages 5 to 11. More details will be announced in the coming days.

Reminder: Medicaid Vaccine Incentives Deadline Extended
Ohio’s managed care plans announced that the incentives for administering the COVID-19 vaccine have been extended to December 31, 2021. The incentives include gift cards for patients ages 12 and above on Medicaid who received their first dose. 

  1. Pharmacies can receive Visa gift cards directly to give to patients. If you are an independent pharmacy vaccinator, please email [email protected] for your gift card needs. Thank you to those who have already responded with the projected numbers of gift cards needed.
    1. Once you get to 75% of your gift card allocation, please reach out to Attn: Meera Patel-Zook – Gift Card Request at [email protected]  so that they can ship out an additional allotment to your store.

If you have received gift cards, please track them using COVID-19 Vaccine Gift Card Tracker Example. Vaccinators can now add all the information for all MCOs in ONE tracker and send that tracker to [email protected]

Helpful State Vaccine Resources and Information
The following resources are helpful for vaccinators to contact ODH regarding vaccine shipments:

  • COVID Vaccine Provider Call Center: 1-844-963-4829 (The ODH Provider Call Center is open daily from 8:00 am – 7:00 pm Monday through Friday and is no longer open on weekends)
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Resources website
  • ImpactSIIS Job Aids and Videos
  • ImpactSIIS help desk: email [email protected] for assistance or call 1-866-349-0002.

    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 protected].

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