MarkeTouch COVID-19 Clinical and Operations Pharmacy Newsletter (September 30)

by Marketouch BACK TO BLOG.

Prioritizing Patients For The Comirnaty Booster Shot

Now that the FDA has approved Pfizer’s Comirnaty for booster doses under a new EUA, and the CDC has issued guidance for who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose, questions still remain.  Who exactly can get the shot?  When should it be administered?  How do eligible groups receive the booster vaccine?  In this ever dynamic environment, here is what we know as of today: 

CDC recommends the following groups should get a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine:

  • People aged 65 years and older
  • People aged 18 years and older in long-term care settings
  • People aged 50 – 64 years with underlying medical conditions

CDC also recommends that the following groups may receive a booster shot of the Pfizer, Comirnaty, vaccine, based on their individual benefits and risks:

  • People aged 18 – 49 years with underlying medical conditions
  • People aged 18 – 64 years at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting

The CDC currently considers the following groups at increased risk for COVID-19:

  • First responders (healthcare workers, firefighters, police, congregate care staff)
  • Essential workers in the following industries
    • Education staff (teachers, support staff, day care)
    • Food and agriculture
    • Manufacturing
    • Corrections 
    • US postal service 
    • Public transit 
    • Grocery stores

Will patients need to prove that they fall into one of the above eligibility categories?  No, patients will only need to attest that they are in one of the eligible groups.  It will be on the “honor system”.

Is a patient who received either the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine eligible for a Pfizer booster shot?  No, the FDA and CDC booster approvals only apply to the eligible patients 6 months after completing the primary Pfizer 2-dose series.

Can you administer/receive the Comirnaty booster dose the same time as your flu shot?  Yes, in fact for convenience it is encouraged to do so.

If your pharmacies are giving Comirnaty booster shots, let MarkeTouch assist you in the scheduling of patient appointments and engaging booster eligible patients.  The MarkeTouch Health and Wellness Scheduler is a time and high volume proven system capable of managing millions of daily appointment inquiries, digital consent forms and automated patient notifications.

Is the End of the Pandemic Nearing?

According to new modeling efforts provided by the CDC’s COVID-19 Scenario Modeling Hub and researchers at Penn State COVID-19 cases will decrease across the U.S as long as there are no new new variants and no major changes in our behavior.

Their models predict that the most likely scenario is that children 5-11 will be approved for vaccination and that no new superspreading variant will emerge. If this is the case, then  by March 2022, the model forecasted that COVID-19 infections, nationally, would drop from to about 9,000 per day, and deaths could decline to fewer than 100 per day.

The Race for a COVID-19 Pill

Pfizer, Merck, Atea, and its partner Roche are all finishing up clinical trials for their COVID-19 antiviral therapy oral doses.  These three companies have stated that it is their goal to apply for Emergency Use Authorization later this year. Other pharmaceutical manufacturers are also working on oral COVID-19 treatments, but are lagging a year or more behind Pfizer, Merck and Atea/Roche. Oral antiviral medications are difficult to develop because they must target the virus after it is already replicating inside human cells without damaging healthy cells. They also need to be given early to be most effective.  So the newest pharmaceutical race related to COVID-19 is picking up its pace.

Vaccine Tracker

According to the CDC, as of 9/28/2021, 472 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered. 390 million doses of vaccine have been administered.

This accounts for the following percentages of fully vaccinated people in the U.S.:

  • Total pop. = 55.4%
  • 12+ years = 64.8%
  • 18+ years = 66.6%
  • 65+ years = 83.2%

Scruples and Drams – News and Notes from Across Pharmacy

Aspirin for those at high risk for preeclampsia  – The USPSTF recommends the use of low-dose aspirin (81 mg/d) as preventive medication for preeclampsia after 12 weeks of gestation in persons who are at high risk for preeclampsia. 

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