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COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Posted on August 25, 2021


Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine is Approved

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, the first COVID-19 vaccine to gain full approval.  The vaccine will now be marketed as “Comirnaty” for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older.  The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

 

Booster Dose Updates

Last Wednesday, HHS announced a national plan to roll-out booster vaccines beginning September 20.  DPH subsequently sent a communication to vaccinating providers that contains several initial planning assumptions and information about this plan, which can be found here.

 

Pfizer and Moderna 3rd Dose for Immunocompromised People

Here is the link to the clinical considerations for an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine, from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices: Clinical Considerations for Third Dose for Immunocompromised People.

At this time, the third dose is being given to moderately and severely immunocompromised people.  Qualifiers for this population include, but are not limited to:

  • Active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies
  • Receipt of solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy
  • Receipt of CAR-T-cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within 2 years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy)
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (i.e., ≥20mg prednisone or equivalent per day), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory.

If you have any of the conditions described above, you should consider receiving the third dose.

 

CT WiZ Immunization Public Portal is Now Live

  • Governor Lamont has issued Executive Order 13C to allow vaccine recipients to access immunization records through the secure Immunization Information System, CT WiZ Public Portal.  This is a free service provided by the CT DPH Immunization Program.  A press release announcing such access can be found here.
  • Vaccine recipients and their legal guardians can access official immunization records for themselves and their children under the age of 18 using the CT WiZ Public Portal with ‘two-factor authentication’ to verify identity.  When a vaccine recipient or guardian enters the exact name, date of birth, and cell phone number or email addresses that was used on the forms submitted at the time of vaccination, then they will receive an access code through their email address or cell phone.  The access code must be entered within a short window of time in order to view the immunization record.
  • Recipients won’t find the immunization record if the contact information does not match what the vaccinating provider reported to CT WiZ.  If they are unable to locate their record in the portal, they can contact the DPH Immunization Program for assistance (helpdesk: https://dph-cthelpdesk.ct.gov/Ticket or phone: 860-509-7929 during business hours Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm).

 

Vaccine Mandates

Governor Lamont recently issued Executive Order 13D requiring that all Connecticut state employees, including those who work at state hospital facilities, staff of all public and private childcare facilities, and staff of all public and private preK-12 schools statewide receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by September 27, 2021.  Those who do not get vaccinated due to medical or religious exemptions will be required to be tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis.  However, state hospital employees will not have the option of being tested in lieu of vaccination.

Governor Lamont issued Executive Order 13B on August 6th, which imposes similar vaccine requirements on employees of long term care facilities.  Those are defined as any facility, agency or provider that is a nursing home, a residential care home, an assisted living services agency, an intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities, or managed residential community.  Long term care facility employees will not have the option of being tested in lieu of vaccination.  They can claim medical or religious exemption.

 

COVID-19 Vaccine and Pregnancy

CDC recently published a new analysis, Receipt of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines preconception and during pregnancy, CDC v-safe COVID-19 Vaccine Pregnancy Registry 2020-21.=

 

Recent COVID-19 Vaccine Publications