Thanks, in part, to the continued and growing efforts of pharmacy teams across the nation, more Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine than have tested positive for the virus.
As of Wednesday, February 3, 2021, 32.8 million doses have been given and 26.4 million Americans had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to data compiled by the CDC Vaccine Tracker. This compares to the 26.1 million people in the country have tested positive for the disease. The U.S. has been administering shots at a faster daily rate than any country in the world, giving about 1.34 million doses a day, according to data gathered by Bloomberg.
On February 2, 2021, the federal government announced that it will begin shipping about 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses a week directly to thousands of pharmacies. This makes it a great time to review the USP COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Toolkit. The 2.0 version of the toolkit provides information critical to accurately and safely handling and delivering the two currently EUA approved mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. January 2020 updates include guidance for the storage, handing and transporting of vaccines, plus operational considerations to minimize waste and guidance for the disposal of ancillary supplies. The complete toolkit is available at the link below.
While current COVID-19 vaccine interest is outweighing current vaccine supply, in the very near future, many people will rely on their pharmacy as a trusted resource for COVID-19 vaccine information and for information about getting vaccinated. Many people have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines. You play a critical role in helping them understand the importance of COVID-19 vaccination, as well as when it is likely to be recommended for them and what to expect after they are vaccinated.
To assist you in communicating with patients, the CDC has developed ready-made materials you can use. Check out the posters, vaccination stickers, social media post ideas and other resources are all available for FREE here.
Johnson & Johnson – announced its one-dose vaccine had been shown to be 66% protective against moderate to severe COVID-19 infection. However, it was 85% effective in protecting against severe disease. And the study results included zero hospitalizations or deaths among clinical trial vaccine recipients.
AstraZeneca – a single dose of the AZ vaccine provided strong protection in clinical trials when its second shots were delayed by at least three months. The FDA is waiting on additional data from a clinical trial that enrolled about 30,000 participants, mostly Americans. Results from that study are expected later this month.
Moderna – is asking U.S. regulators to allow it to increase the amount of coronavirus vaccine put into each vial by as much as 50%, which they state can accelerate patient vaccine access. An FDA decision could take several weeks. Variants and Boosters – A top FDA official indicated that the agency is working on a “streamlined” process for authorizing any updates for vaccines that are required to treat the new variants. An accelerated FDA authorization would be important if it is determined that a vaccine needs to be updated to adapt to a circulating variant. The FDA is finalizing what shape the process may take.
COVID-19 vaccination providers should make every attempt to schedule a patient’s second-dose appointment when they get their first dose.CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Interim Playbook – 2020
MarkeTouch has been providing a fully hosted, web-based (mobile optimized) appointment scheduling solution since 2010. Currently, 88% of all appointments scheduled, including series vaccines, are completed.
Enhancements have been made to accommodate the dynamic needs of COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, allowing the ability to optimize your operations by customizing appointment availability based on vaccine inventory, staff schedule and vaccine series.
The MarkeTouch COVID-19 Scheduling solution is being used for both in-store and off-site clinics. Eliminate the need for clipboards with customized, mobile-optimized vaccine consent forms as a standalone service or incorporated into the patient appointment scheduling process.
Contact MarkeTouch today to learn more about adding the convenience of appointment scheduling to your COVID-19 vaccination strategy.