CDC-ACIP Says More Evidence Needed for Booster Recommendation
Members of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) discussed potential COVID-19 booster doses in a meeting on Monday. ACIP stated that current evidence on boosters is unclear at this time and indicated it may consider a risk-based approach that would prioritize residents of long-term care facilities and health workers rather than all eligible Americans. ACIP was in agreement that the priority for any booster dose policy should be preventing severe disease in high-risk people, and that the current top priority of vaccinating all Americans with a first or second dose was unchanged. Boosters will on the agenda for a mid-September meeting.
New Study Finds Moderna Creates More Antibodies than Pfizer
A new study published online in JAMA suggests Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine elicits more immune cells when compared to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
“This study demonstrated a significantly higher humoral immunogenicity of the Moderna vaccine compared with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, in infected as well as uninfected participants, and across age categories. The higher mRNA content in (Moderna) compared with (Pfizer-BioNTech) and the longer interval between priming and boosting for (Moderna) (4 weeks vs 3 weeks for Pfizer-BioNTech) might explain this difference.”
According to the CDC, as of 8/31/2021, 440 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered. 369 million doses of vaccine have been administered. This accounts for the following percentages of fully vaccinated people in the U.S.:
Total pop. = 52.4%
12+ years = 61.3%
18+ years = 63.4%
65+ years = 81.7%
U.S. Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Supply
As retail pharmacies announce the availability of flu shots, influenza vaccine manufacturers project they will deliver 188 – 200 million doses in the U.S. for this upcoming flu season. GlaxoSmithKline recently announced that it expects to distribute 50 million doses of its flu vaccine, more than in any prior season. According to the CDC, the flu was mostly nonexistent last year because people were being cautious against COVID-19. However, this year, flu may be more prevalent because people aren’t taking the precautions against COVID-19 and the flu in 2021 as they did in 2020.
Scruples and Drams – News and Notes from Around Pharmacy
NCPDP Guidance on Additional and Booster COVID-19 Doses
NCPDP met August 20 with the CDC to clarify billing guidance for additional COVID-19 doses and potential booster shots. Excerpts from that guidance include: (link to full guidance below)
Additional doses are defined as an additional dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine given to fully-vaccinated, immunocompromised patients a minimum of 28 days after the last dose of vaccine administered.
Booster doses are an additional dose of the vaccine given to fully vaccinated patients at least eight months (timeline may change based on the data) after the last dose of vaccine administered.
Additional doses and booster doses can be reported as an additional dose – there is no need to distinguish with an ICD code. SCC = 7 is sufficient.
No guidance at this time for interchangeability of vaccines but they do not expect industry to reject based on manufacturer preference.
Providers should be responsible to receive attestation from patients regarding appropriate timelines – CDC does not expect payers to edit on timelines.
Enhanced Drug Distribution Security at the Package Level Draft Guidance Comment Period – ENDS TODAY, 9/2!
The draft guidance, Enhanced Drug Distribution Security at the Package Level under DSCSA, is intended to assist supply chain stakeholders, particularly trading partners, with requirements for enhanced drug distribution security at the package level that go into effect on November 27, 2023. This guidance provides recommendations on the system attributes necessary for enabling the secure tracing of product at the package level.
Stop Using Certain N95 Respirators
The FDA is alerting health care facility risk managers, procurement staff, and health care personnel to stop using N95 respirators manufactured by Shanghai Dasheng Health Products Manufacturing Co., Ltd. The CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health revoked all respirator approvals previously issued to Shanghai Dasheng because the company did not implement, maintain, and control a quality management system.
International Overdose Awareness Day
The world’s largest annual campaign to end overdose, remember without stigma those who have died and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind.
The tragedy of overdose is far too frequent but is ultimately preventable. Overdose prevention, education and recognition play a crucial role in saving lives. MarkeTouch thanks all of the pharmacy teams who are committed to taking action against the issue of drug overdose.
To learn more about International Overdose Awareness Day, click here. To learn about patient engagement solutions that assist in the safe removal of excess and unused controlled substance and dangerous prescription medications, call or email us today.