- CDC Experts to Address “Partnerships and Promotion of Late-Season Influenza Doses to Ensure a Successful Influenza Vaccination Season during the COVID-19 Pandemic” During IAC Webinar on November 17
- Deadline to Register for NFID’s 2020 Clinical Vaccinology Course – November 13
- International Webinar: Advocating for Life Course
- AMA Announces Vaccine-specific CPT Codes for Coronavirus Immunizations
- CDC Foundation RFP: Supporting Community Organizations to Strengthen Vaccine Confidence Pilot Project
- CDC Releases Jurisdiction COVID-19 Executive Summaries
- Press Release: Idaho counties claim first two flu-related deaths this season. Both also had COVID-19.
- Ad Council, AMA, and CDC Collaborate on “No One Has Time for Flu” Campaign
- Vaccine Effectiveness Against Pediatric Influenza Hospitalizations and Emergency Visits
- American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Invites Primary Care Health Care Professionals to Participate in Their Influenza Preparedness ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) Project
- CDC/Influenza Division Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report and COVIDView
CDC Experts to Address “Partnerships and Promotion of Late-Season Influenza Doses to Ensure a Successful Influenza Vaccination Season during the COVID-19 Pandemic” During IAC Webinar on November 17
IAC will host a webinar, “Partnerships and Promotion of Late-Season Influenza Doses to Ensure a Successful Influenza Vaccination Season during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” on November 17 at 12 p.m. (ET). This important and timely topic will be addressed by speakers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Amy Parker Fiebelkorn, MSN, MPH, senior epidemiologist in the Immunization Services Division and Lead of the Influenza Response Team in the Vaccine Task Force, will discuss seasonal flu vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic and will highlight the additional 9.3 million federally-funded late-season adult influenza vaccine doses available. Kathleen LaPorte, MPH, health communications specialist, Influenza Division, will describe CDC’s 2020–2021 influenza vaccination campaign communication plan. L.J Tan, MS, PhD, IAC’s Chief Strategy Officer, will moderate the webinar, and the speakers will be available to answer audience questions at the conclusion of the presentations.
The webinar is designed for all partners involved in distribution or administration of influenza vaccination or promotion, particularly those working with the federally-purchased late-season influenza vaccine doses. This includes state and local health departments, immunization coalitions, Federally Qualified Health Centers/community health centers, and pharmacists working with community health centers.
REGISTER NOW to be sure you don’t miss this informative session.
Deadline to Register for NFID’s 2020 Clinical Vaccinology Course – November 13
The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) 2020 Clinical Vaccinology Course will be held on November 15–17, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this will be a virtual event. The agenda for this event and registration information are available on the NFID website.
International Webinar: Advocating for Life Course
Please join members from the international Immunisation for All Ages (IFAA) initiative for the last session in their webinar call to action, Advocating for Life Course Immunisation. This webinar will discuss the need to expand vaccination pathways for adults and how community pharmacies can have a crucial role in achieving higher vaccination rates, which is especially important in the current pandemic scenario. The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) will have a direct participation in this event.
The webinar will take place on Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 8:30 – 10 ET. Registration is available online.
AMA Announces Vaccine-specific CPT Codes for Coronavirus Immunizations
On November 10 the American Medical Association (AMA) issued a press release announcing publication of an update to the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) code set that includes new vaccine-specific codes to report immunizations for the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). The press release is excerpted below:
Working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CPT Editorial Panel has approved a unique CPT code for each of two coronavirus vaccines as well as administration codes unique to each such vaccine. The new CPT codes clinically distinguish each coronavirus vaccine for better tracking, reporting and analysis that supports data-driven planning and allocation. Importantly, these CPT codes are available prior to the public availability of the vaccines to facilitate updating of health care electronic systems across the U.S.
“An effective national immunization program is key to bringing the coronavirus pandemic to an end,” said AMA President Susan R. Bailey, M.D. “Correlating each coronavirus vaccine with its own unique CPT code provides analytical advantages to help track, allocate and optimize resources as an immunization program ramps up in the United States.”
For quick reference, the new Category I CPT codes and long descriptors for the vaccine products are:
91300 Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) vaccine, mRNA-LNP, spike protein, preservative free, 30 mcg/0.3mL dosage, diluent reconstituted, for intramuscular use
91301 Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) vaccine, mRNA-LNP, spike protein, preservative free, 100 mcg/0.5mL dosage, for intramuscular use
In accordance with the new vaccine-specific product CPT codes, the CPT Editorial Panel has worked with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to create new vaccine administration codes that are both distinct to each coronavirus vaccine and the specific dose in the required schedule. This level of specificity is a first for vaccine CPT codes, but offers the ability to track each vaccine dose, even when the vaccine product is not reported (e.g. when the vaccine may be given to the patient for free). These CPT codes report the actual work of administering the vaccine, in addition to all necessary counseling provided to patients or caregivers and updating the electronic record.
For quick reference, the new vaccine administration CPT codes and long descriptors are:
0001A Immunization administration by intramuscular injection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) vaccine, mRNA-LNP, spike protein, preservative free, 30 mcg/0.3mL dosage, diluent reconstituted; first dose
0002A Immunization administration by intramuscular injection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) vaccine, mRNA-LNP, spike protein, preservative free, 30 mcg/0.3mL dosage, diluent reconstituted; second dose
0011A Immunization administration by intramuscular injection of Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) vaccine, mRNA-LNP, spike protein, preservative free, 100 mcg/0.5mL dosage; first dose
0012A Immunization administration by intramuscular injection of Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) vaccine, mRNA-LNP, spike protein, preservative free, 100 mcg/0.5mL dosage; second dose
All the new vaccine-specific CPT codes published in today’s update will be available for use and effective upon each new coronavirus vaccine receiving Emergency Use Authorization or approval from the Food and Drug Administration. In addition to the long descriptors, short and medium descriptors for the new vaccine-specific CPT codes can be accessed on the AMA website, along with several other recent modifications to the CPT code set that have helped streamline the public health response to the SAR-CoV-2 virus and the COVID-19 disease.
Changes to the CPT code set are considered through an open editorial process managed by the CPT Editorial Panel that collects broad input from the health care community and beyond to ensure CPT content reflects the coding demands of digital health, precision medicine, augmented intelligence, and other aspects of a modern health care system. This rigorous editorial process keeps the CPT code set current with contemporary medical science and technology so it can fulfill its vital role as the trusted language of medicine today and the code to its future.
Questions on CPT coding and content should be directed to the CPT Network, the authoritative source for CPT coding answers. Also, consult the AMA online library of COVID-19 CPT coding and guidance.
CDC Foundation RFP: Supporting Community Organizations to Strengthen Vaccine Confidence Pilot Project
The CDC Foundation has announced a new Request for Proposals to support community-based organizations (CBOs) to develop and implement effective health communication and community engagement strategies to increase vaccine confidence and acceptance among groups at risk for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) related to under-immunization.
For many years, child vaccination coverage has remained high nationally, and most parents are confident in the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. However, the recent resurgence in the spread of myths and misinformation has put some communities at risk. When misleading information circulates, vaccination coverage can fall and increase the risk for outbreaks of VPDs. Vaccine confidence remains critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. While we have seen signs of recovery from pandemic-related disruptions to routine childhood vaccination, children, families, and communities remain at risk for preventable diseases and outbreaks. Additionally, the arrival of flu season during the COVID-19 pandemic has made it critical to protect vulnerable populations and reduce burden on the healthcare system through widespread uptake of influenza vaccine. Vaccinate with Confidence is CDC’s strategic framework to strengthen vaccine confidence and prevent outbreaks of VPDs in the United States.
This funding opportunity will support CBOs’ strategies to provide health education and community engagement on vaccines, in multiple formats (oral, written, etc.) delivered by local trusted sources in ways that are culturally appropriate. CBOs must be nonprofit and tax-exempt (501-c-3 tax exempt status; documentation must be provided) and may include faith-based organizations, vaccine advocacy organizations, public health focused associations, civic and social organizations, and other organizations that have the capacity to educate and engage at-risk communities. Questions about this opportunity may be directed to Nikka Sorrells.
CDC Releases Jurisdiction COVID-19 Executive Summaries
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released the executive summaries from the COVID-19 vaccine playbooks each jurisdiction submitted, a crucial step in the overall U.S. government effort to develop, distribute, and administer COVID-19 vaccines. The executive summaries provide an overview of how each jurisdiction is thinking about and planning for the different phases of COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration – from limited to abundant supplies – all while also dealing with the effects of the pandemic.
Strengths from the jurisdictions’ playbooks included:
- Organization around the phased allocation assumptions and determining populations likely to be selected for initial vaccine administration.
- Detailing systems to train and equip providers around adverse event reporting, and
- Focusing on second dose reminder systems and providing deep operational detail for reminders via text, email, and automated calls – a critical step to ensure people who are vaccinated get the full protection a vaccine provides.
CDC is continuing to enhance technical assistance to address the challenges identified in the jurisdictions’ playbooks as well, including communications around vaccine confidence and making sure there are expedited procedures for emergency communications, should they be necessary.
Press Release: Idaho counties claim first two flu-related deaths this season. Both also had COVID-19.
On November 4, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare issued a press release, which is excerpted below.
A Blaine-County man older than 60 years of age and a woman older than 80 years of age from Twin Falls County have been reported as the first influenza-related deaths of the 2020-21 season. Both were also infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
“The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is reminding Idahoans that both infections can be serious and there is concern that co-circulation and co-infection with influenza and COVID-19 viruses could be especially harmful, particularly among adults already at increased risk of influenza-related complications,” said Dr. Leslie Tengelsen, the Idaho influenza surveillance coordinator. “I encourage everyone to get their annual flu vaccine as soon as possible to reduce the chance of getting the flu. This is extremely important this season.”
On average, 41 influenza-related deaths occur each year in Idaho; mostly among people older than 50.
Influenza is a contagious virus that causes respiratory illness in 5 to 20 percent of the population every year. Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, chills, or fatigue. Although most people who get the flu recover after a few days, some people may develop serious complications, leading to hospitalization and even death.
Influenza can be prevented. The most important action to take is to get your annual influenza vaccine now. The flu vaccine does not prevent COVID-19, does not cause a person to test positive for COVID-19, and does not make people susceptible to COVID-19.
Everyone over six months of age should get an annual influenza vaccine. Getting the flu vaccine every year is especially important for people more at-risk for serious flu-related complications, including those with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, young children, and anyone 65 years of age or older. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist to determine which flu vaccine is best for you.
Dr. Tengelsen advises people to take precautions to limit the spread of respiratory viruses, including influenza and the virus that causes COVID-19:
- Wear a mask and physically distance yourself whenever you are in public.
- Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer frequently.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth until you have washed your hands.
- Stay home from work or school when sick.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Avoid people who appear sick.
For information about influenza and how to stay healthy, please visit flu websites provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
For more information on seasonal flu and flu vaccines, visit CDC’s Misconceptions about Seasonal Flu and Flu Vaccines.
For more information on COVID-19, visit the Idaho COVID-19 webpage.
Ad Council, AMA, and CDC Collaborate on “No One Has Time for Flu” Campaign
The Ad Council, the American Medical Association (AMA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are collaborating on a national flu vaccination campaign targeting African American and Hispanic audiences. Inspired by the insight that people are motivated by caring for their loved ones, and that many are juggling more responsibilities than ever this year, the “No One Has Time For Flu” campaign illustrates how getting sick with flu doesn’t just mean feeling ill—it could significantly disrupt the lives of individuals and their families. The campaign directs audiences to GetMyFluShot.org for more information, including where to get a flu shot in their area.
Vaccine Effectiveness Against Pediatric Influenza Hospitalizations and Emergency Visits
An article recently published in the journal Pediatrics addresses the question of Vaccine Effectiveness Against Pediatric Influenza Hospitalizations and Emergency Visits. As published in the article, the study conclusion was:
In this study, we provide timely evidence of the overall benefit of vaccination in reducing pediatric hospitalizations and ED visits associated with influenza infections. Unlike studies that are focused on ambulatory care office visits, our data provide important VE estimates against severe influenza in children. Strikingly, the vaccine was ∼40% effective against A(H3N2)-related hospitalizations and ED visits, even in a season when antigenically drifted clade 3C.3a influenza viruses were the predominant circulating A(H3N2) viruses. These data provide important evidence supporting the annual recommendation that all children ≥6 months should receive influenza vaccination.
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Invites Primary Care Health Care Professionals to Participate in Their Influenza Preparedness ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) Project
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) invites primary care health care professionals to participate in the AAP Influenza Preparedness ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) Project. This virtual telementoring program will connect a team of pediatric infectious diseases, primary care pediatrics, and pediatric practice management experts with those providing primary care to children and youth. The Influenza Preparedness ECHO will be a space to discuss the latest updates on influenza prevention, control, and treatment strategies during a public health emergency.
- Screening and testing for influenza and COVID-19
- Influenza treatment options
- Telehealth during influenza season
This ECHO will meet twice per month on the first and third Friday from noon–1pm ET/9–10am PT.
Registration is available online. If you have any questions, please contact Jessie at AAP.
CDC/Influenza Division Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report and COVIDView
CDC’s Weekly Surveillance Reports for Influenza and COVID-19 for the week ending October 31, 2020, are available on the FluView and COVIDView websites. Flu information for sharing with the public may be found on CDC’s Influenza (Flu) webpage. In addition, Summit partners wishing to receive CDC’s key technical influenza points may L.J Tan or Joanna Hill.
Summit calls are held weekly on Thursdays at 3 pm ET throughout the influenza season, unless cancelled. Zoom information generally is sent to partners the morning of the call. Please email L.J Tan or Joanna Hill if you have any updates on activities to provide to the Summit.