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COVID-19 Update | September 20, 2021
Important Highlights

Updated CDC Guidance for COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control for HCP 
CDC published updated healthcare personnel infection prevention and control (IP/C) guidance on September 10, which is captured in three main documents: 

 

In an effort to streamline its clinical guidance for healthcare IP/C of COVID-19, CDC is archiving most of the setting-specific guidance and consolidating all healthcare IP/C guidance into the above-listed documents. The new guidance now incorporates considerations for current local community transmission rates and recommendations for immunocompromised people.  

 

Interchangeability of FDA authorized and FDA approved COVID-19 Products   
The FDA-approved Pfizer-BioNTech product COMIRNATY (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) and the FDA-authorized Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine under EUA have the same formulation and can be used interchangeably to provide the COVID-19 vaccination series without presenting any safety or effectiveness concerns. Therefore, providers can use doses distributed under the EUA to administer the vaccination series for those seeking the approved vaccine.  The Fact Sheet for Recipients provides additional information about both the approved and authorized vaccine.  Providers should continue to use the vaccines on their shelves. 
 
FDA Issues Revised Policy on Face Masks and Respirators During COVID-19 
The FDA issued a revised guidance: Enforcement Policy for Face Masks, Barrier Face Coverings, Face Shields, Surgical Masks, and Respirators During the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency (Revised) to help expand the availability of face masks, barrier face coverings, and face shields for the general public, including health care personnel, and surgical masks and particulate filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) (including N95 respirators) for health care personnel for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency. 

SHEA Coronavirus News

MySHEA Series – Real-World Approaches to Vaccination as a Condition of Employment in Healthcare 
SHEA is conducting an ongoing MySHEA series to gather real-world examples of how facilities are configuring COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment policies. This series is a component of the publicly available tool kit created as a companion resource for the Multisociety Statement. Responses are de-identified and summarized on the Approaches page of the tool kit. So far, topics have included the timing of policy announcements, exemption reviews, and compliance requirements; how vaccine clinics are being set up (in-house, outsourced, etc.); and what mitigation measures are used for those with approved exemptions.  

 

Please note: the tool kit is dynamic, and will evolve with the changing landscape of COVID-19 infection and vaccination science. It will be updated and have additions and subtractions as needed. None of the materials, suggestions, and examples it contains are meant to express the position or endorsement by SHEA, SHEA members, other societies, or the authors. Each individual healthcare facility will need to develop a process appropriate for its context, with advice from counsel on federal, state, local, and other regulations and statutes. If you have questions or suggestions, email vdeloney@shea-online.org.  
 
SHEA Signs on to “Statement of Strong Medical Consensus for Vaccination of Pregnant Individuals against COVID-19"  
SHEA has signed onto a statement led by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), along with APIC, IDSA, SIDP, and many others, that urges all pregnant individuals, including “recently pregnant, individuals planning to become pregnant, lactating, and other eligible individuals to become vaccinated against COVID-19.”  
The SHEA tool kit includes resources to encourage vaccination among groups with lower uptake, and links to this statement and other supporting information to encourage vaccination among pregnant and lactating persons.

Technical Guidance, Standards, and Resources

Vaccines 

FDA Will Follow The Science On COVID-19 Vaccines For Young Children (FDA)

 

CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Requirements and Support (CDC)  

 

Vaccines for Children Program vs. CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program (CDC)  

 

Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee September 17, 2021 Meeting Announcement (FDA) 

 

Variants 

*UPDATE* SARS-CoV-2 Variant Classifications and Definitions (CDC) 

 

Monoclonal Antibodies Bamlanivimab and Etesevimab May Be Less Effective for Treating Cases of COVID-19 Caused by Variants (CDC COCA) 

 

MMWRs 

Monitoring Incidence of COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths, by Vaccination Status — 13 U.S. Jurisdictions, April 4–July 17, 2021 (CDC MMWR) 

 
Interim Estimates of COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness Against COVID-19–Associated Emergency Department or Urgent Care Clinic Encounters and Hospitalizations Among Adults During SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) Variant Predominance — Nine States, June–August 2021 (CDC MMWR) 
 
Effectiveness of COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines Against COVID-19–Associated Hospitalization — Five Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, United States, February 1–August 6, 2021 (CDC MMWR) 
 
Long-Term Symptoms Among Adults Tested for SARS-CoV-2 — United States, January 2020–April 2021 (CDC MMWR) 
 
Using Wastewater Surveillance Data to Support the COVID-19 Response — United States, 2020–2021 (CDC MMWR) 
 
SARS-CoV-2 Transmission to Masked and Unmasked Close Contacts of University Students with COVID-19 — St. Louis, Missouri, January–May 2021 (CDC MMWR) 
 
Long-Term Care 
 
PPE   
 
Incident Management 
 
Payment and Reimbursement Policy 
 
Research 
Event Announcements

Project Firstline Virtual Town Hall (CDC)  
Fri, Sep 17, 2:15 - 3:00 PM ET  
REGISTER 
CDC experts will discuss the updated IPC guidance and answer questions.

Collaboratives in Action: Equitable Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccines (Institute for Healthcare Improvement) 
Tue, Sep 21, 3 PM – 4 PM 
REGISTER 
Learn how four of these organizations have overcome barriers to equitable vaccine distribution through establishing and leveraging local delivery systems, fostering trust of community members and partnering organizations, and harnessing data. 

Evaluating and Supporting Patients Presenting with Fatigue Following COVID-19 (CDC COCA) 
Thu, Sep 30, 2 PM – 3 PM ET 
REGISTER 
Presenters will discuss Post-COVID conditions (PCC), an umbrella term for the wide range of health consequences present four or more weeks after infection with SARS-CoV-2, which includes Long-COVID. 
SPEAKERS: Maureen Miller, MD, MPH, Joseph E. Herrera, DO, Monica Verduzco Gutierrez, MD, Benjamin Abramoff, MD, MS

Trade Press, Journal Articles, and White Papers

Considerations in Boosting COVID-19 Vaccine Immune Responses. Krause, Philip R, et al.  The Lancet, 2021, doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(21)02046-8.  

Estimates of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths Among Nursing Home Residents Not Reported in Federal Data.Shen K, Loomer L, Abrams H, Grabowski DC, Gandhi A. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(9):e2122885. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.22885

Spontaneous Abortion Following COVID-19 Vaccination During Pregnancy. Kharbanda EO, Haapala J, DeSilva M, et al. JAMA. Published online September 08, 2021. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.15494 

Equity and the Uneven Distribution of Federal Covid-19 Relief Funds to US Hospitals. Buxbaum, Jason D., and Summer Rak. Health Affairs, vol. 40, no. 9, 2021, pp. 1473–1482., doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2020.02018

News Highlights

Pfizer/BioNTech say data show COVID-19 vaccine safe and protective in kids | Reuters 

Why the ACLU Flip-Flopped on Vaccine Mandates (The Atlantic)  

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