December 21, 2020
Recommendations for Industry
As we enter the holiday week and see Europe facing another major lockdown, TAG is the need for practicing COVID-19 protections, both at work and in daily life.
With the UK seeing a new strain of COVID-19 said to be 70% more transmissible, Europe is holding talks to coordinate a response to the new strain, and the UK has gone into its most stringent lockdown since March. There is not, at this point, any evidence the new strain is more virulent or that it would impact the current vaccine strategy. However, it is probable that the strain is or will be in the U.S., so continued, and even enhanced protections are critical.
Additionally, while the U.S. has long been encouraging the limiting of holiday travel, we know that there will be those who continue or be tempted to gather. Because of this CDC has updated its holiday travel guidance, providing Considerations for Small Gatherings, Travel and Overnight Stays, etc., while stating: “As cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to increase across the United States, the safest way to celebrate the winter holidays is to celebrate at home with people who live with you. Gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.”
COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs
Q. Has CDC published any further guidance on prioritization of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution?
A. On Sunday, December 20, CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) updated its vaccine guidance to further define priority groups. Following healthcare workers currently being vaccinated, ACIP recommends that frontline essential workers and people ages 75 and older be next in line as Phase 1B.
Frontline essential workers are defined as firefighters, police officers and workers in education, food and agriculture, manufacturing, corrections, the U.S. Postal Service, public transit and grocery stores. This phase consists of about 49 million people.
Following that, Phase 1c is recommended as including additional essential workers as those in transportation, food service, shelter/housing (construction), finance, information technology, energy, media, legal, public safety (engineers) and water/wastewater industries.
Interestingly, ACIP divided food workers -- putting food and ag, manufacturing and grocery in Phase 1B and foodservice into 1c. So this is an area of which the industry should be aware.
If the CDC director accepts ACIP’s recommendation, the CDC will provide more guidance on how to implement each phase. Ultimately, individual states will determine their prioritization strategies for vaccine distribution although many will follow CDC’s guidance.
In Case You Missed It...
In Friday’s, Recommendations for Industry, we answer some COVID-19 FAQs, including (a) what to do if an employee displays COVID-19 symptoms post-vaccine; and (b) is the vaccine safe for pregnant women.
The FDA recommended Moderna’s vaccine for an EUA for those 18 and older. If approved, the Moderna vaccine may be ready to distribute starting next week.
To address skepticism over the vaccine’s safety and show its safety, Vice-President Mike Pence received his COVID-19 vaccine live on TV.
In last Monday’s Recommendations for Industry, we discussed a new COVID-19 county-level data set for predictive analyses – and address the vaccine question: What does FDA say about the safety of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for those with allergies?
As the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine is underway, the CDC has released on “What to Expect at Your Vaccine Appointment”.
On Sunday, the CDC updated its list of vaccine-related references. Refer to these resources on the CDC’s website.
Travel can increase your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.
You and your travel companions (including children) may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread COVID-19 to family, friends, and community after travel.
Don’t travel if you are sick or test positive for COVID-19. Don’t travel with someone who is sick.
Keep up to date with COVID-19:
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