OPA COVID-19 Vaccines and Therapeutics: January 24, 2022 Update
NewFederal Government Supplies All Homes with Four Free COVID-19 Tests
Last week the federal government announced that every home in the U.S. is eligible to order four free at-home COVID-19 tests. Orders are being shipped by the United States Postal Service (USPS), and distribution dates are 7-12 days from ordering. Please direct your patients to order the tests through this website: https://special.usps.com/testkits. Here is a flyer that can be printed and posted in your pharmacy.
Patients who have difficulty accessing the internet or need additional support can call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489) to get help in English, Spanish, and more than 150 other languages. The phone line is open from 8 AM to midnight EST every day of the week. The Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) is also available to specifically help people with disabilities place their orders. To get help, call 1-888-677-1199, Monday-Friday from 9 AM to 8 PM EST, or email DIAL@usaginganddisability.org.
New Authorization for National Guard to Serve as Pharmacy Technician Trainees
To mitigate workforce shortages being experienced in pharmacies across Ohio, the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy (BOP) allows National Guard personnel assigned to any Ohio-licensed pharmacy to perform technician trainee activities pursuant to rule 4729:3-3-01 of the Ohio Administrative Code and any other COVID-19 waivers issued by the Board under the direct supervision of a pharmacist without registration by the Board. See the waiver document here.
NewBoard of Pharmacy Updates COVID-19 Waivers
In continued support of pharmacists and patients, the BOP has updated its COVID-19 waiver to assist licensees in addressing operational needs. The most recent update can be found here.
NewBoard of Pharmacy Updates COVID-19 Therapeutics Guidance
Based on prescribing requirements made by the FDA, pharmacists are not permitted to order specific COVID-19 therapeutics. The following guidance document reflects this change. For specific questions regarding the distribution of COVID-19 therapeutics, email the Ohio Department of Health at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reminder: Walk-In COVID-19 Vaccine Services Inquiry Survey for Pharmacists Serving Medicaid Populations
A barrier identified in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine among Medicaid populations is a lack of access to vaccine appointments because of life circumstances and other barriers. Ohio’s Medicaid managed care leadership seeks to highlight pharmacies offering walk-in clinics to their membership to allow broader access to the vaccine. If your pharmacy provides walk-in COVID-19 vaccine services for one to many days in the week, please respond to this survey: Walk-In Vaccine Clinic Inquiry.
Reminder: $100 COVID-19 Medicaid Administration Fee Deadline Extended
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 has been extended to June 30, 2022. See further details on the covidvaxonthespot.com on the Provider and Pharmacy Resources webpage. The MCP leadership encourages pharmacies to assist Medicaid patients with accessing first, second, and booster shots through phone calls, walk-in appointments, and other personalized outreach.
Reminder: Medicaid COVID-19 Patient Vaccine $100 Gift Card Incentive Deadline Extended
Ohio’s managed care plans announced that the $100 gift card incentive for Medicaid patients receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has been extended to June 30, 2022.
- Pharmacies can receive Visa gift cards directly to give to patients. If you are an independent pharmacy vaccinator, please email RxCovidTracking@centene.com for your gift card needs. Thank you to those who have already responded with the projected 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 RxCovidTracking@centene.com so that they can ship out an additional allotment to your store.
- If you have received gift cards, please ensure that you track their use through the 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 RxCOVIDTracking@CENTENE.COM.
Note: This incentive is available to all Medicaid patients ages five and above who are eligible to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine. A legal guardian must accompany individuals who are minors to receive the gift card incentive.
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
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.