COVID Updates & Resources
CHCANYS EM Team would like to share the following updates and resources regarding COVID:
Updates to Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Storage and Distribution
Storage: The FDA amended Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to allow for the storage of thawed, undiluted vaccine for up to 1 month (30 days). Visit the CDC website for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for more guidance. Prior to reconstitution, the vaccine may now be stored:
In an ultra-cold freezer between -80⁰C and -60⁰C (-112⁰F and -76⁰F) until the expiration date.
In the refrigerator between 2⁰C and 8⁰C (36⁰F and 46⁰F) for up to 1 month. Thawed vaccine cannot be refrozen.
In a freezer between -25°C and -15°C (-13°F to 5°F) for up to 2 weeks. Vials stored in the freezer can be returned one time to ultra-cold temperature storage. Once returned, the 2-week time frame is suspended. Vials stored in the freezer can be transferred to the refrigerator for an additional 30 days. Once thawed, they cannot be refrozen.
Vials should be marked with the date and time whenever vaccine is moved from one type of storage to another. See the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Beyond Use Date/Time (BUD) Tracking Label.
Distribution: Pfizer vaccine will soon be offered in smaller trays containing 450 doses. The larger tray (1,170 doses) is still available. Providers will be able to place orders for both tray sizes.
COVID-19 Vaccine for Preteens and Teens - Resources
To answer questions about vaccinating children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shared a COVID-19 Vaccines for Preteens and Teens fact sheet with information on safety, possible side effects, and tips on what to do before, during and after your child’s vaccination. Additional resources are listed in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Parents of Adolescents Toolkit (also available in Spanish).
Thursday: Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity Call
On Thursday, May 27 at 2 PM, CDC presenters will update clinicians on the underlying medical conditions associated with severe COVID-19, the methods used to rate the evidence linking conditions to severe COVID-19, the evidence on risk for conditions included, and resources for providers caring for patients with underlying medical conditions. Learn more.
Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) therapeutics for COVID-19 are an essential tool in preventing severe illness and hospitalization for those who are recently diagnosed with COVID-19.
Much has changed since the first mAb therapeutic for COVID-19 became available under FDA EUA last November. A brief recap of the latest:
For eligible patients at risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19, treatment with mAbs may be an option as it has been shown to reduce the relative risk of hospitalization or death by 70% in clinical studies.
Check with the NIH for the latest on treatment guidelines for therapeutic management of adults with COVID-19, along with these EUA Fact Sheets:
REGEN-COV (casirivimab plus imdevimab)
The efficacy of mAb therapies against certain COVID-19 variants can vary. Keep up-to-date on the latest information from the CDC about SARS-CoV-2 variants in New York.
On April 16, 2021, FDA revoked the EUA for bamlanivimab alone in treating COVID-19 due to the sustained increase in variant resistant to the therapeutic.
Reimbursement: Beginning May 6, 2021, Medicare will increase reimbursement to approximately $450 in most settings, or approximately $750 in the beneficiary’s home or residence.
Patients diagnosed with COVID-19 should check with their provider to see about eligibility and getting a prescription, and then find an infusion center nearby to receive treatment.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: We would like to thank NYC Reach, FEMA Region II and Healthcare Ready for the information and resources above.