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COVID-19: CDC Recommends Pfizer Vaccine, Warns Against Ivermectin

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted Aug. 30 to recommend the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people ages 16 and older. This recommendation comes after the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA)’s Aug. 23 approval of the vaccine and ACIP’s review of safety and effectiveness data.

CDC Warns Against Ivermectin Use for COVID-19

An Aug. 26 CDC health advisory warns of an increase in ivermectin prescriptions and adverse effects related to the misuse of ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19. The medication is FDA-approved in oral form to treat parasitic diseases onchocerciasis, also known as river blindness, and intestinal strongyloidiasis; topical forms are used to treat head lice and rosacea. The agency also reports an increase in the use of veterinary formulations of ivermectin typically used to prevent or treat parasitic infections; these highly concentrated formulations are likely to cause overdoses in humans.

Ivermectin overdoses can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea; hypotension; and neurologic effects, such as decreased consciousness, confusion, hallucinations, seizures, coma, and death. CDC stresses that ivermectin is not authorized or approved by FDA to treat COVID-19 and the National Institutes of Health have reported insufficient data to recommend ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment. The agency urges health care providers to educate patients about the risks of using ivermectin without a prescription, ingesting topical ivermectin products, or consuming veterinary formulations.

HHS Suspends COVID-19 Reporting For Gulf States

In the wake of Hurricane Ida, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified hospitals of a suspension of federal hospital COVID-19 reporting requirements for Louisiana and parts of Mississippi for seven days, beginning Aug. 30. Reporting for this period is optional and not expected to be backfilled.

The agency will continue to monitor the hurricane’s effects and adjust the suspension as needed. Facilities and states also may request emergency suspense waivers from HHS by contacting the HHS help desk at Protect-ServiceDesk@hhs.gov.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the pandemic.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Emily Schweich is a senior communications associate for America's Essential Hospitals.

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