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COVID-19 is not done with us yet.
LeadingAge Senior Vice President of Policy Ruth Katz opened Wednesday’s membership update call with news that several states are seeing increasing coronavirus cases. Connecticut, she said, is topping that list with a 78% increase in cases over last week, followed by Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Oklahoma.
“Tracking COVID numbers is not for the faint of heart,” Katz said, adding that protecting long-term care residents and their caregivers through vaccination is even more important.
CVS Health Associate Chief Medical Officer David Fairchild, M.D., who spoke on the call about vaccination clinics, said the company has completed approximately 10 million COVID-19 vaccinations, bringing the total number of U.S. adults fully vaccinated to slightly more than half.
“We’re not exactly leading the league in that regard,” Fairchild said, attributing the low vaccination levels to misinformation on the vaccines. “There have been about 3 billion people globally who have gotten the vaccine so far. It’s amazingly well-tolerated and incredibly effective.”
Moderna on Wednesday filed for emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 booster vaccine for all adults aged 18 or more years. The request, if approved, would expand the number of people eligible for a third shot to the 71 million adults initially vaccinated with the Moderna shot. That booster is half the dose used in the first two shots.
Last month, the Food and Drug Administration authorized Moderna’s booster dose to be given six months after the second dose to people aged 65 or more years as well as to adults at high risk for severe COVID-19 due to underlying conditions or their living or work environments, including healthcare workers.
The FDA is poised to authorize the Pfizer–BioTech vaccine for all adults this week, ahead of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee meeting scheduled for Friday.
Fairchild said that long-term care providers have three options for offering booster vaccines to employees and residents:
- In-store appointments — staff members and ambulatory residents can schedule an in-store COVID-19 vaccine appointment at a local CVS pharmacy.
- On-site clinics — CVS Health will provide vaccinations on-site if providers meet certain eligibility requirements, including a minimum of 25 participants, a location within 30 miles of a CVS pharmacy, and the existence of a centralized location within a community/facility where vaccinations can be delivered.
- Facility-led clinics — Omnicare, CVS’ long-term care pharmacy, will partner with providers that have the capability to store and administer vaccines, providing vaccinations for staff to administer vaccines and helping providers with backend paperwork for reporting.
Providers can administer both the influenza and COVID-19 vaccine to individuals at the same time, Fairchild said.
Operators can check with other pharmacy providers to see what their offerings are.