General Information

OHCA has been in regular communications with the governor’s office and OHA and is working on specifics related to the vaccine distribution plan in long term care. Specific details for long term care allocations, logistics, and consent are still being finalized and are forthcoming. Some of those decisions and actions are dependent on the final FDA approval and information expected soon. Please check this site for updates.

On December 4, Governor Kate Brown and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) officials announced details of the state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. Vaccines have been shipped to Oregon and long term care residents and staff are among the first group of recipients. Review information from the Governor’s press release here and watch press conference here.

Any facility that did not enroll in the pharmacy program to select the location to receive the vaccine (CVS, Walgreens, or your own pharmacy), must contact OHA to be added to the distribution list. Contact imm.info@state.or.us (or visit here) for more information.

On December 22, OHA shared details about the long term care COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan. Read the details here. The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) also shared FAQs regarding the plan (read here).

Vaccine Efficacy and Safety

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a detailed analysis December 8 of the COVID-10 vaccine from Pfizer and its partner BioNTech. The agency’s analysis finds “no specific safety concerns identified that would preclude issuance of an EUA.” Serious reactions were rare. Side effects are common, however, with a majority of study volunteers experiencing reactions at the site of injection, headaches and fatigue.

The analysis also affirms the previously stated vaccine effectiveness of 95%, assessed a week after two doses of vaccine. The vaccine doses are given 21 days apart.

The clinical data also suggest that the vaccine may be able to prevent COVID-19 after the first dose — 82% effective — though the FDA analysis says the available information doesn’t allow for a firm conclusion on that potential effect.

The analysis also shows the vaccine is effective including in elderly over the age of 65 and age over 75 and in minority populations. Just over 4% of the participants were over age of 75. Vaccine efficacy was equivalent in those under 55 and those over 55. This appears to be very safe vaccine with predictable reactions to a vaccine stimulating the immune response to make antibodies. The pattern was nearly identical in elderly over the age 55 but the actual rates were slightly different. There were six deaths in the trial: two with the vaccine and four with the placebo.

Operations

Physician orders for the vaccine are NOT required. Neither Walgreens nor CVS will require a physician order. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary used his authority under the Prep Act to override all state and local laws to allow pharmacists to order and administer the vaccine.

Currently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has not issued any restrictions to encourage staff to receive that vaccine, including financial and other incentives.

Post-Vaccine Considerations

FAQs

Please review the frequently asked questions about the pharmacy partnership with long term care providers in facilitating COVID-19 vaccines. As part of this program and at no cost to the facility, these pharmacies will coordinate with facilities on preparing and administering the vaccines.

Webinars

Walgreens

Any facility assigned to Walgreens can email questions or inquires directly at ImmunizeLTC@Walgreens.com. Expect a reply within 24 hours or sooner. Email any questions to ImmunizeLTC@Walgreens.com.

CVS

CVS has started sending their initial emails to matched facilities. Facilities should also expect phone calls in the coming days. In the meantime, please update your contact information here. It is critical that each facility supply updated contact information (for primary and secondary points of contact for each facility).

Consonus Pharmacy

 

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