OPA COVID-19 Vaccines and Therapeutics: June 29, 2022 Update
New Ohio Medicaid COVID-19 Incentives Deadlines Updated
The Ohio Department of Medicaid and Ohio’s Managed Care plans have announced specific updates to their COVID-19 vaccine incentives. Please note the following changes as you provide vaccines for patients:
- The pharmacy administration fee of $100 per COVID-19 vaccination for Medicaid members (including booster shots) will remain until December 31, 2022.
- OutcomesMTM and CSS Health tips on COVID-19 counseling and administration will end on June 30, 2022.
- Patient gift cards for all COVID-19 vaccines will also end on June 30, 2022. If your pharmacy received physical gift cards for patients, please fill out the gift card trackers and send them to [email protected].
- Physical gift cards must be returned to the following address: Meera Patel-Zook, 4349 Easton Way Suite 20, Columbus, OH 43219.
New Funding Opportunity for COVID-19 Vaccine Administration to Uninsured Individuals
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) announced a new funding opportunity for COVID-19 vaccine providers in Ohio. This is intended to reimburse the costs of administering COVID-19 vaccines to uninsured individuals.
Before April 5, 2022, the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) accepted claims for COVID-19 vaccine administration reimbursement to providers who vaccinated uninsured individuals. The HRSA program stopped accepting claims on April 5 due to insufficient funds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program requires providers to continue administering COVID-19 vaccines at no out-of-pocket cost to recipients. As a result, some providers may be negatively impacted without reimbursement for these costs.
ODH is responding to this important need for providers to receive reimbursement to continue providing COVID-19 vaccines. Ohio COVID-19 vaccine providers who previously received reimbursement for vaccine administration through the HRSA COVID-19 Uninsured Program may apply for funding. Applicants shall not seek reimbursement through any other source for vaccines administered with this funding. ODH is forecasting the funding opportunity will be opened for application on June 29, 2022. The opportunity will be posted on the Ohio Department of Health website. Here is a preview of the application.
The total funding available through ODH will be $1.7 million, which will be available through June 30, 2023, or until the available funds are exhausted. Funding will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Vaccine providers will receive the money upfront based on the provider’s estimated number of vaccinations of uninsured individuals from the date of award through June 30, 2023. Providers will have the option of payment by electronic fund transfer or by check. Providers will be required as part of the agreement to submit quarterly reports with a total number of vaccinations of uninsured individuals to be reviewed and validated by ODH. Providers will be required to return any funding received in excess of the actual vaccines administered. Please submit any questions regarding this funding opportunity to ODH by email at [email protected].
New Pfizer Resource on Contraindicated Drugs with Paxlovid
Pfizer Inc. has released a useful resource for their oral COVID-19 therapeutic PAXLOVID™ (nirmatrelvir and ritonavir). This document covers Potentially Significant Drug Interactions including Contraindicated Drugs. It includes a list of drug classes that interact with Paxlovid. Providers can reference this quick guide as they prepare to dispense the medication. Please refer to the the following resources for further information:
- Pfizer Guidance on Paxlovid for Healthcare Providers
- Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers
- Fact Sheet for Patients, Parents, and Caregivers
- FDA Emergency Use Authorization Letter
New ODH Urges Providers to Discuss COVID-19 Therapeutics with Patients
ODH Director, Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, MBA, distributed a letter urging healthcare providers to discuss COVID-19 therapeutic options with patients. This letter covers key messages that healthcare providers can use with their patients who might benefit from COVID-19 therapeutics. It also includes links to resources for healthcare providers, such as a recorded webinar developed by the Ohio Hospital Association about COVID-19 treatments featuring infectious disease specialists covering indications for use, high-risk criteria, renal function considerations, dispensing considerations, side effects, warnings and precautions, contraindications, and drug interactions. The letter also notes that a special email address has been established [email protected] to which healthcare providers can send questions.
New COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Requirements for Refrigeration
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reminds vaccine providers that part of the storage requirements for COVID-19 vaccine vials is that each refrigeration unit must have a digital data logger (DDL) to monitor temperatures. All COVID-19 vaccination providers should obtain a DDL if they have not already done so. Due to supply chain delays and shortages, allowances were made in 2021 for COVID-19 Vaccination Program providers having difficulty obtaining DDLs. However, at this time, DDL supply chain issues should be resolved, and all COVID-19 Vaccination providers are required by the CDC to obtain a DDL per storage unit.
Digital Data Loggers should have the following features:
- Detachable probe that best reflects vaccine temperatures (e.g., a probe buffered with glycol, glass beads, sand, or Teflon®)
- Alarm for out-of-range temperatures
- Low-battery indicator
- Current, minimum, and maximum temperature display
- Recommended uncertainty of +/-0.5°C (+/-1°F)
- Logging interval (or reading rate) that can be programmed by the user to measure and record temperatures at least every 30 minutes
- A current and valid Certificate of Calibration Testing
More information about DDLs for COVID-19 Vaccine can be found in the CDC Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit (www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/admin/storage/toolkit/storage-handling-toolkit.pdf).
Reminder: COVID-19 Vaccine Formulations Approved for Individuals Ages 6 Months up to 5 Years
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice’s (ACIP) recommendation that all children 6 months up to 5 years of age should receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna's two-dose primary COVID-19 vaccine series was approved for individuals ages 6 months through 5 years. Pfizer BioNTech's three-dose primary COVID-19 vaccine series was approved for individuals ages 6 months through 4 years. Pharmacists can now vaccinate children ages 3 and above. If your site does not plan to provide the vaccine to younger age groups, please refer patients to the nearest location that administers pediatric vaccinations.
Reminder: Additional Resources for COVID-19 Pediatric Vaccinations
Here are additional resources for vaccine providers. Your site may choose not to administer vaccines to pediatric patients. However, these resources may help inform a patient/guardian/caregiver’s decision to get a vaccine.
- The Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccination Operational Planning Guide includes details for the anticipated Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 6 months through 4 years and the Moderna vaccine for children ages 6 months through 5 years.
- COVID-19 Vaccination for Children | CDC
- VAERS reporting assistance: Email [email protected]or call 1-800-822-7967
- V-safe:Materials are provided at V-safe Print Resources | CDC, or view a brief 30-second video that shows how easy it is to record information at Share Your COVID-19 Vaccination Experience with V-safe.
- Pfizer Informational Webinars: To access current and future training sessions, please visit: https://www.pfizermedicalinformation.com/en-us/medical-updates.
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].