- In today’s Recommendations for Industry, we discuss the importance of businesses staying updated on vaccine availability for employees and not let up on any of the basic controls and protective behaviors [Read More].
- The FDA has scheduled its meeting to review Johnson & Johnson’s EUA for COVID-19 vaccine (Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC)) for Feb. 26, 2021.
Recommendations for Industry
COVID-19 Vaccinations & Protective Behaviors: Continuing but Critical
As COVID-19 vaccinations continue to be rolled out across the states – albeit rather chaotically, it remains critical that businesses stay updated on vaccine availability for your employees and not let up on any of the basic controls and protective behaviors. This is particularly important as vaccine efficacy against the variants continues to be studied and refined. While no COVID-19 vaccine is 100% effective, particularly against mild cases and all variants, the currently authorized vaccines in the United States are highly effective against the currently circulating strains and new variants of concern. This is an area of research that TAG will continue to track, and vaccine manufacturers are monitoring the efficacy of their vaccines against new emerging variants.
As such, TAG recommends:
- Stay updated on your state vaccine rollout and encourage and/or facilitate vaccine attainment for your employees. If you need information, the National Governors Association webpage, State COVID-19 Vaccine Resources, provides links to the vaccine public health webpage of every state and U.S. territory.
- Stay protected. Continue to require masks, distancing, and personal hygiene/handwashing. Encourage employees to maintain all protective behaviors when not at work, avoiding gathering and wearing masks – even once they are vaccinated.
- Stay tuned. Keep an eye on the news for updates of the variants – focusing on those proven to be valid … including TAG’s tri-weekly e-newsletter on which we include regular key points of accurate, science-based news and research.
In Case You Missed It
- In Friday’s Recommendations for Industry, we discuss what to do if a person exhibits symptoms after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Read More.
- The FDA is scheduled “to discuss the request for EUA for a COVID-19 vaccine from Janssen Biotech” – the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
- The United Kingdom has put $9.6M into a study that will look into the effects of mixing vaccine types for those vaccines that require two doses with hopes that it may create a more flexible immunization program. Despite this, in the U.S., TAG and the CDC do not recommend this until further studies are conducted.
- A second study (in pre-print) from the UK finds that the B117 variant may be “35% more deadly than the standard virus” which echoes the UK government’s Jan. 22 report that found “the variant may be 30% more deadly.” However, as we discussed before, these findings are based on limited studies and the UK government warns that more data is needed.
- A recent study from Ontario, Canada, finds that dialysis patients are five times more likely to be infected by COVID-19 and almost four times more likely to die from COVID-19.
- The CDC is tracking the number of identified variant cases throughout the US. However, these numbers may be underestimated.
- A recent Science study, that analyzed over 10 million cell phone’s mobility data in the US., has found that “as of October 2020, individuals aged 20-49 are the only age groups sustaining resurgent SARS-CoV-2 transmission with reproduction numbers well above one, and that at least 65 of 100 (65%) COVID-19 infections originate from individuals aged 20-49 in the US.”
- A recent preprint finds that the AstraZeneca-Oxford University COVID-19 vaccines provides strong protection after the first of two doses. This may allow the spacing out of the second dose in a more manageable way.
- In order to travel to/from many locations, a negative COVID-19 test result is needed. There has been an increase in fake COVID-19 documentations; both for tests and also “fake vaccination documents.” Ultimately, this may create a very real problem for travel.
- In Wednesday’s Recommendations for Industry, we discussed TAG’s COVID Risk Matrix and some encouraging trends. Read more here.
- OSHA’s new COVID-19 protection guidance document – and what it means to your business. [Read more].
- Some people may still test positive after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Why is that? This can be due to a few different reasons including:
- There is a lag between vaccination and protection.
- Vaccination prevents most, but not all disease.
- Vaccination prevents disease, but infection, it's unclear.
- Vaccines do not work retroactively – if you have been ill before and didn’t know it, you may still test positive!
- The variant question
- In Monday’s Recommendations for Industry, we discussed OSHA’s new COVID-19 protection guidance document – and what it means to your business. [Read more].
- The FDA “has placed all alcohol-based hand sanitizers from Mexico on an import alert to help stop products that may be in violation from entering the U.S. until the agency is able to review the products’ safety. The agency has seen a significant number of hand sanitizer products from Mexico that were labeled to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) but tested positive for methanol contamination or 1-propanol.” Read more here.
- Click here to access FDA’s list of unapproved hand sanitizers in addition to tips for consumers for what to look out for when purchasing hand sanitizers.