The delta variant is spreading across the U.S.. The CDC has updated masking guidelines for fully vaccinated people. The new advice is to don a mask indoors if you live in an area with “high” or “substantial” COVID transmission. Here is a link to CDC’s county by county view. For an even more powerful perspective, click on the “Time-lapse” view.
Retailers Asking Workers And Customers To Mask Up
Publix, Target, Kroger, Walmart, Kohls, Home Depot, McDonalds and Apple are all a part of a growing number of retailers that are asking or requiring their employees to now wear a mask while on the job, vaccinated or not. Additionally, in stores in areas with high infection rates retailers are encouraging customers to also wear masks and perform social distancing while shopping, also regardless of their vaccination status.
According to the CDC, as of 8/3/2021, 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered. 346 million doses of vaccine have been administered. This accounts for the following percentages of fully vaccinated people in the U.S.:
Total pop. = 48.7%
12+ years = 57.0%
18+ years = 59.6%
65+ years = 79.5%
FDA Authorizes REGEN-COV For COVID-19 Post-Exposure Prophylaxis
The U.S. FDA revised the EUA for REGEN-COV (casirivimab and imdevimab, administered together) authorizing REGEN-COV for emergency use as post-exposure prophylaxis (prevention) for COVID-19 in adults and pediatric individuals (12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kg) who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death. REGEN-COV is not authorized for pre-exposure prophylaxis to prevent COVID-19 before being exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus – only after exposure to the virus. Prophylaxis with REGEN-COV is not a substitute for vaccination against COVID-19.
REGEN-COV also remains authorized for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kg) with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing, and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death.
Efforts To Use COVID-19 Vaccines Before They Expire
The FDA has extended the expiration date on expiring Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 shots. Declaring that the doses remain safe and effective for at least six months, when properly stored, the extension gives the shots an extra six weeks. States are also reporting that many Pfizer and Moderna doses are nearing expiration. Several states have set up marketplaces for shot providers to redistribute about-to-expire vaccines to places that need them.
Scruples and Drams
News and Notes from Around Pharmacy – FDA Approves First Interchangeable Biosimilar Insulin
On July 28th, the FDA approved the first interchangeable biosimilar insulin product, Semglee. Semglee (insulin glargine-yfgn) is both biosimilar to, and can be substituted for its reference product Lantus (insulin glargine), Semglee is indicated to improve glycemic control in adults and pediatric patients with Type 1 diabetes and in adults with Type 2 diabetes.
In this week’s blog, Matt Feltman, RPh, Marketouch’s Vice President – Clinical Services, shares his thoughts on pharmacy DIR reform and The Pharmacy DIR Reform to Reduce Senior Drug Costs Act (H.R. 3554/S.1909)