OPA COVID-19 Vaccines: November 22, 2021 Update
NewCOVID-19 Booster Doses Authorized for Fully Vaccinated Ohioans
Last week, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) announced that Ohio COVID-19 vaccine providers can begin offering booster COVID-19 doses to all eligible individuals. This is based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendation for booster doses. The details of this guidance are as follows:
Pfizer/Comirnaty and Moderna booster dose
Individuals over the age of 18 who received the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for their primary vaccine series can receive a booster dose of any of the three approved COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer/Comirnaty, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson) at least six months after their second dose (or third dose if immunocompromised). Individuals younger than 18 are not eligible for booster doses currently. The FDA and CDC will continue to evaluate vaccine data to determine if or when that eligibility will be extended to teens or children.
Johnson & Johnson booster dose
Booster doses are authorized for all recipients of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine age 18 or older. These individuals can receive a booster dose of any of the three approved COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson) at least two months following the initial dose.
NewCOVID-19 Booster Doses Resources
Here are additional resources based on the recent approval of COVID-19 booster doses for all eligible adults over the age of 18.
- UPDATED: Guidance for Ohio Vaccine Providers for Administering Booster Doses
- Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers
- Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers
NewPfizer Pediatric Formulation – 6hr Label Correction
The CDC announced that labels on the Pfizer Pediatric vials were printed before the Emergency Use Authorization was modified to allow for a longer shelf life after dilution. The labels were incorrectly printed to say, "Discard 6 hours after dilution." However, the FDA approved the vaccine for discarding 12 hours after dilution. Please make sure providers and staff are aware of this change to the Pfizer pediatric label. This updated information is printed in the EUA and Fact Sheet as follows:
"After dilution, the vial should be held between 2°C to 25°C (35°F to 77°F). Vials should be discarded 12 hours after dilution. Vial labels and cartons may state that a vial should be discarded 6 hours after the first puncture. The information in this Fact Sheet supersedes the number of hours printed on vial labels and cartons."
Reminder: Ohio Vax-2-School Program Deadlines
Ohio Vax-2-School is a public outreach campaign to increase awareness of the availability and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. This program will award 150 scholarships worth $10,000 each and five $100,000 scholarships to an Ohio college or university for career or technical education. Ohioans ages 5-25 who receive at least the first dose of any COVID-19 vaccine are eligible for the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Vax-2-School program. Qualified individuals, or their parents or guardians, can register at www.ohiovax2school.com once they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19.
The deadlines to register for the Ohio Vax-2-School Program are as follows:
- Sunday, November 21, 11:59 pm – eligible for all drawings.
- Sunday, November 28, 11:59 pm – eligible for the second drawing (75, $10,000 winners) and the grand prize drawing.
- Wednesday, December 1, 11:59 pm – eligible for the grand prize drawing.
Vaccinators can download the Ohio Vax-2-School communications toolkit with social media posts, graphics, newsletter language, and more.
Reminder: Influenza Vaccine Administration and Resources
Vaccinators are encouraged to discuss flu vaccine administration as they interact with patients regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. Influenza typically spreads in the fall and winter, with activity peaking between December and February. Therefore, getting vaccinated to prevent the flu at this time can preserve health care resources for patients with other diseases and medical conditions, including COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time.
Reminder: Administration Fees for COVID-19 Vaccines Increased to $100 Per Shot for Medicaid Patients
The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) and Ohio’s Medicaid Managed Care Plan (MCP) leaders 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. See the MCP notification here. The MCP leadership encourages pharmacies to assist Medicaid patients with accessing first, second, and booster shots through phone call outreach, walk-in appointments, and other personalized outreach. OPA commends ODM and the MCPs for continuing to boost pharmacist-driven vaccine administration efforts across the state.
Reminder: Pfizer-BioNTech Immunization Site Training Sessions
Pfizer-BioNTech is offering training sessions for all providers on the storage, handling, and administration of currently available COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccine providers can attend any of the following training programs:
Reminder: PHARMACY 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 incentive bonus 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 Incentive bonus 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 team). 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 gift card 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.
- Social Media posts
- Text messages
- Outbound call scripts
- If you have any questions about this program, please contact Meera Patel-Zook at [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.
- Note: Pharmacies who respond will be evaluated for their eligibility for the program by the MCP leadership. Those who fit the criteria will be contacted with further information.
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.
- 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.
- 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].