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COVID-19: PHE End, Project NextGen, Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has clarified what processes will remain and what will change with the May 11 expiration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

In a May 9 fact sheet, HHS stressed that access to COVID-19 vaccines will remain at no cost due to the requirements of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement.

However, HHS stated its intention to move COVID-19 vaccines and certain treatments to the traditional health care market, after which out-of-pocket expenses for certain COVID-19 treatments, such as Paxlovid and Lagevrio, may change depending on an individual’s health care coverage.

Medicaid programs will continue to cover COVID-19 treatments without cost sharing through Sept. 30, 2024, and a vast majority of current telehealth flexible options for Medicare beneficiaries, particularly those in rural areas, will remain in place through December 2024.

Additionally, the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is providing a 90-calendar day transition period for covered health care providers to comply with the HIPAA telehealth provision.

The transition period began May 12 and will expire Aug. 9. During the transition, OCR will not impose penalties on covered health care providers for noncompliance with HIPAA Rules that occurs in connection with the good faith provision of telehealth.

ASPR Announces Project NextGen to Stay Ahead of COVID-19

The Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) announced on May 11 Project NextGen, a $5 billion initiative aimed at staying ahead of COVID-19 and accelerating the development of future vaccines and treatments through public-private collaborations.

Among the project’s focus areas are research surrounding pan-coronavirus vaccines, which would protect against several different coronaviruses, and more durable monoclonal antibodies that are resilient against new variants as they arise.

The project will be based at HHS and led by the ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, as well as the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Janssen Vaccine No Longer Available in the United States

The CDC announced May 7 that the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine no longer is available in the United States. The agency urges providers to dispose of any remaining Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine in accordance with local, state, and federal regulations.

CDC recommends that adults ages 18 and older who received at least one Janssen vaccine dose receive one bivalent mRNA Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech dose at least two months after receiving the last Janssen dose.

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

Andrea Lugo is a senior communications associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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