The new year brought several developments in the nation's COVID-19 responses and resources. A change in administration came with a wave of new programs designed to mitigate challenges brought on by the pandemic. The CDC and other health care organizations have continued to release resources for providers as the situation evolves.
Below, we've outlined some of these notable initiatives for you to familiarize yourself with and share with patients.
Pharmacies beginning to serve as vaccination sites
As of February 11, select pharmacies are serving as vaccination sites for those eligible individuals. This is part of the effort to improve access and efficiency with the vaccine rollout through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination. President Biden has pledged to have enough vaccine doses for every adult American by May of this year.
Learn more about the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccinations
Expansion of COVID-19 testing for schools and underserved populations
Under the Biden administration, there will be a collective $650 million investment from the HHS and DoD to expand testing opportunities for primary schools, homeless shelters, and community coordination "hubs." The two organizations will establish regional coordinating centers to facilitate the increased testing capacity. These centers will coordinate with universities and laboratories throughout the country to collect specimens, perform tests, and report results to the relevant local health agencies. This initiative will give access to testing for teachers, staff, and students in order to reopen schools. Read more.
Communication Resources for COVID-19 Vaccines
The CDC has released materials for providers to share with their patients. These materials intend to help providers build vaccine confidence in their patients, walk them through the process of getting vaccinated, and more. These materials are available both to print and share on social media. They have also created materials specifically for essential workers, long-term care facilities, and community-based organizations. Read more.
Reopening plans for the city of Boston
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts moved to Step 2 of Phase 3 of the state's reopening plan on Monday, March 1, and Phase 4 on March 22. More industries will continue to open up as cases continue to drop in Massachusetts. Indoor performance venues will be allowed to open at 50% capacity for the first time since last December, and as of the 22nd, restaurants will no longer have seating capacity limits. Residents are reminded to remain vigilant and conscious of COVID fatigue, wear masks, and socially distance as much as possible, even after vaccination. Read more.
Baker-Polito Administration Announces Preregistration System for Mass Vaccination Locations
The Baker-Polito administration announced a new preregistration tool that makes it easier to request and book vaccine appointments at any of the state's 7 sites. They plan to add more sites to the system in April. With the new process in place, there will be designated sign-up days exclusive to only K-12 educators, staff, and child care workers. The new preregistration site is open to the public starting March 12. Read more.
Vaccine updates to the AllWays Health Partners COVID-19 FAQs
We continue to update our COVID-19 FAQs with the information you need to run your practice during the pandemic. Most recently, we have added information about vaccine coverage. Additionally, we have information about testing and treatment, telemedicine, prior authorizations, and more. Most recently, we have added information about our coverage of the newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Visit the FAQ.
Weekly resources on our Best Practice blog
As always, check our Best Practice regularly for further updates about COVID-19 and more.
Recent posts on COVID-19:
- How to find answers to your patients' top vaccine questions
- 6 tips for keeping kids safe during the pandemic
- Would you eat indoors at a restaurant? We asked five health experts
- Answers to patients' top questions about the COVID-19 vaccine