On Monday, Nov. 9, Pfizer and its partner BioNTech, the German drug manufacturer, announced that early analysis of its COVID-19 vaccine trial found the vaccine to be over 90% effective in preventing the disease among those trial volunteers with no evidence of prior coronavirus infection.
Pfizer is now looking to the FDA to receive emergency authorization for the two-dose vaccine later this month, once it has completed the two-month collection of safety data. Currently, the drug maker is anticipating being able to manufacture enough doses to immunize 15 to 20 million people by the end of the year.
While there are eleven vaccines currently in late-stage trials, the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is among the first to report such promising analysis.
Here are a few facts that we have been able to ascertain about the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine:
- 2-dose regimen, 21 days apart
- Age range in the trial: 12 – 70+
- Storage requirements: -94F for undisclosed time, 36 to 46F for up to 2 days
We believe there will be broad patient interest in the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as product availability is announced. We also predict that the people who will be prioritized to receive the vaccine first include first responders, health care workers and the military.
With a promising vaccine now on the horizon, retail pharmacies and health plans are accelerating their efforts to ensure they have updated operational and educational plans in place to ensure patients are getting immunized efficiently and safely.
How Retail Pharmacies and Health Plans Can Prepare
- Begin analyzing data to identify the highest risk patient population in anticipation that these will be the first to be offered the vaccine once it is generally available.
- Plan to launch an outreach communication campaign to all patients, informing them of the availability of the COVID vaccine and the process for obtaining a vaccination.
- Launch an immunization workflow solution, such as CareScheduler from EnlivenHealth™ , to assist with clinic scheduling, patient consent gathering, vaccine registry reporting, and vaccine inventory procurement.
- Plan to launch an outreach communication campaign to all members, informing them of the availability of the vaccine, the cost of getting the vaccine, and instructing the members to contact their doctor or pharmacist to receive the treatment.
- EnlivenHealth™ recently conducted a national COVID-19 Vaccine Readiness survey, finding that health plans will include the COVID vaccine as “preventive care” under the Affordable Care Act. Consequently, there will be zero copay for the COVID vaccine.
EnlivenHealth™ is here to help pharmacies and health plans navigate the management, scheduling and communications of the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccine – keeping patients and members happy, healthy and safe. For more information, visit EnlivenHealth.co.