The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on April 27 updated its guidance for wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Under the interim guidance, fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, except in crowded settings and venues.
The interim guidance also includes guidance for fully vaccinated people who are exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. Workers no longer need to quarantine after exposure if they are asymptomatic, and residents of non–health care congregate settings no longer need to quarantine after exposure. Fully vaccinated, asymptomatic people who have not been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 also may be exempted from routine screening testing.
CDC Publishes Research on Janssen Vaccine
Two studies in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) examine adverse effects following administration of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine.
One study provided an update on adverse events, including cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), which caused the Janssen vaccine to be paused from April 12 to 23. As of April 21, nearly 8 million doses of the Janssen vaccine were administered, and data from Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) and v-safe show that 97 percent of reported reactions were nonserious, consistent with clinical trial data. Three percent of reports were classified as serious, including three reports among women of thrombosis in large arteries or veins accompanied by thrombocytopenia during the second week after vaccination.
Another study examined the prevalence of syncope (fainting) and other anxiety-related events after receiving the Janssen vaccine. Five mass vaccination sites reported 64 anxiety-related events, including 17 events of syncope. The reporting rate of syncope to VAERS after Janssen COVID-19 vaccine was 8.2 per 100,000 doses, compared with 0.05 per 100,000 doses for the 2019–2020 influenza vaccine. This highlights the need for vaccine providers to monitor recipients for 15 minutes after administration.
HRSA to Hold Webcasts on COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)’s Coverage Assistance Fund (CAF) covers the cost of administering COVID-19 vaccines to patients whose health insurance doesn’t cover vaccine administration fees or has patient cost-sharing.
Providers who have administered COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the Food and Drug Administration under an emergency use authorization or biologics license application may submit their COVID-19 vaccine administration fee claims for reimbursement consideration to the CAF. To be eligible for reimbursement, providers must first submit claims to the individual’s health plan and have the claim denied or only partially paid.
Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the pandemic.
Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.