MarkeTouch COVID-19 Clinical and Operations Pharmacy Newsletter (February 25)

by Marketouch BACK TO BLOG.

States with the Greatest Increase in COVID-19 Vaccinations Have Decreasing Hospitalizations

Thank you for all you are doing!  The dedication, sacrifices, and tireless work of all health care providers is making a difference.  Recent data reported shows that over the past month, the states that showed the most improvement in daily COVID-19 hospitalizations, also showed a strong correlation in the total number of daily COVID-19 vaccines delivered.

While the correlations do not necessarily imply causation, it is notable that the majority of states that showed the most improvement in hospitalizations all administered more than 166 vaccines per 100k people, the average change across all states. We would expect this trend to be more meaningfully nationally as vaccine administration expands.

Vaccine Updates

Johnson & Johnson – reported that it can deliver 20 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to the US by the end of March pending emergency use authorization by the FDA.  The FDA is meeting tomorrow, 2/26/2021, to consider the application.  

Pfizer – recently submitted new data to the FDA demonstrating the stability of their COVID-19 vaccine when stored at -25°C to -15°C, temperatures more commonly found in pharmaceutical freezers and refrigerators.  The vials would be allowed to be stored at these temperatures for up to two weeks.

Moderna – has provided 45.4 million doses to the US Government to date. The company expects to meet its commitment date of 100 million doses by the end of the first quarter.  The company has moved forward the second delivery of 100 million doses from the end of June to the end of May.

Patient Care Corner: Acetaminophen (APAP) or Ibuprofen (NSAIDS) Before or After COVID-19 Vaccine?

Your pharmacy teams are likely getting questions about what to expect after getting vaccinated, especially around side effects. According to the CDC, it’s possible to experience minor flu-like symptoms, including pain and swelling at the injection site, a fever, chills, fatigue, or headache.

First, it’s unclear, without more research, if and how these medications impact the vaccine’s ability to create antibodies. So, the CDC says you should avoid taking an over-the-counter pain-relieving medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen before you get the vaccine.  Second, available data doesn’t positively say that taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen post vaccination will interfere with the vaccine’s effectiveness, so if you need to, the CDC says it should be totally fine. Some research suggests APAP over NSAIDS. As always, if you have questions, give your healthcare professional a call, especially if you are pregnant or have an underlying health condition.

Vaccine Effectiveness (VE) Assessment Plan

After the FDA approves a vaccine or authorizes a vaccine for emergency use, it continues to be studied to determine how well it works under real-world conditions. CDC and other federal partners will be assessing COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness under real-world conditions.  As vaccine uptake increases nationally, VE research will also try to understand how well the vaccine; performs in specific subpopulations, reduces the risk of infection, protects against milder COVID-19 illness, prevents more serious outcomes, prevents the spread of COVID-19, provides long-term protection, protects against new variants, and provides protection benefit from a single dose or when the second dose is delayed. Early VE assessments will focus on healthcare personnel and residents of Long Term Care Facilities and will continue to evolve as more information from Phase 3 trials and real-world evidence become available.

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