During this time, we must do what we can to stay safe from the ongoing storms of the hurricane season while maintaining social distancing and avoiding infectious diseases. As COVID-19 still poses as a risk, trials of the vaccine development are in place.With coronavirus vaccines undergoing clinical trials in the U.S., we must do our part to stay informed and further protect ourselves from the virus. #PasadenaHealthCenter Click To Tweet
Pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. are doing their part to supply 100 million doses of the vaccine they are working on. The initiative falls under the government’s Operation Warp Speed. Let’s take a look at where we are currently with vaccination trials and coronavirus testing:
Flu Vaccine Guidance
The CDC has released vaccination guidance during a pandemic for the safe administration of influenza vaccines during COVID-19. It’s important that we protect our vulnerable populations such as infants and young children from the flu season. Routine vaccinations should be held until the symptoms are cleared to avoid exposure to health care workers. If your flu shot appointment is delayed, patients should be reminded to return. Those with a common cold can go in for their flu shot, whereas those with more severe symptoms should wait. Routine visits should NOT occur if the patient has SARS-COVID-2.
Therapeutic Updates: Remdesivir
The New England Journal of Medicine has talked about the development of a potential vaccine for COVID-19, Remdesivir. It has had moderate benefits for people on the clinical trial. Remdesivir may be effective and the benefits may potentially outweigh the risks and side effects. On May 15th, the Department of Health and Human Services released information on the principles and techniques of the potential vaccination and vaccine candidates.
Operation Warp Speed
President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed is said to optimize trial sites and attempt to get the fastest sites possible. Finally, it is supporting the companies while vaccines are in trial stages and helping to get the staff. Moderna is now in phase 3 testing in the United States, with Pfizer being in clinical trials and with human trials being tested back in March. Health and Human Services are actively supporting these trials.
COVID-19 Testing Guidance
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced they will be holding a public meeting on October 22nd regarding the development of coronavirus vaccines. The Abbott test has been released with a nasal swab, with agents placed on the card to give results, like a pregnancy test, in 15 minutes. The CDC has released guidance on rapid antigen testing, stating a positive result is most likely positive. If the antigen test is negative, it should stand. The test suffers from low sensitivity, meaning if someone has low symptoms, they may need a PCR test.
Guidance for Nursing Homes
If seniors in assisted living and nursing homes have symptoms and they are positive, the test can be considered positive. Healthcare workers and caregivers need to take a PCR test. If there is a positive, it should be treated like a true positive, and serial viral testing should be continued. If the antigen test is negative, it should stand.
As we continue to work towards a reliable coronavirus vaccine, it’s important to understand how to protect yourself and others. There are many safe options for testing if you feel you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. Remember to take the necessary precautions of distancing yourself from others and wearing a mask when in public.