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In an emergency meeting on Dec. 19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) approved new recommendations for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which recently received FDA emergency approval for people age 18 and older. It is also recommending that it be added to the CDC’s 2021 Adult and Child/Adolescent immunization schedules.
On Dec. 20 in another emergency meeting, the ACIP also updated its recommendation for which groups should receive the next phase of vaccinations: people ages 75 and over and frontline essential workers.
These updates follow the ACIP’s recommendation of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people who are 16 or older last week.
Stanley E. Grogg, DO, the AOA’s liaison to the ACIP, shared additional relevant information about the vaccine and the emergency meetings with the AOA. Here is a summary of his reports from the meetings this past weekend.
Before vaccination, clinicians should counsel vaccine recipients about expected local and systemic post-vaccination symptoms, which onset one to two days post-vaccination, and typically resolve within two to three days. Patients can take antipyretic or analgesic medication to treat fever and pain following vaccination.
Information on how long the vaccine lasts, how well it works in the general population and how much it reduces disease and transmission is currently limited. At this time, people who receive the vaccine are advised to continue following the current guidance to protect themselves and others from COVID-19, including wearing a mask in public places and social distancing.
After the initial phase of vaccination for health care personnel and long-term care facility residents is completed, those who are 75 or older or are frontline essential workers should be next. Following that group should be those between the ages of 65-74 and those between ages 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions, as well as other essential workers.
If the vaccine is in limited supply for frontline essential workers during the next phase, the ACIP recommends that those workers in areas where high rates of transmission and/or outbreaks have occurred, or who are at an increased risk of severe illness based on age or underlying health conditions, be considered first.
For any questions, please contact Dr. Grogg at firstname.lastname@example.org.