Recent CDC Updates: COVID-19 Information

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

COVID-19 Vaccines for Long-term Care Facility Residents was updated August 31, 2021.   It’s not clear exactly what was updated on this website but there is a lot of good information.  I encourage you to share this information/website with your staff, residents and families.

CDC launches COVID-19 resources for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is the September 1, 2021 Press Release announcing the new toolkit on the COVID-19 Materials for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Care Providers website. 

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has created unique challenges for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). To address them, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created a COVID-19 toolkit with communication resources explaining in plain language how people with IDD and caregivers can protect themselves from the virus.

“People with intellectual and developmental disabilities can experience communication barriers that make it harder for them to understand and act on crucial health guidance,” said Karen Remley, MD, director of CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. “The aim of these materials is to help people with IDD, their parents and other caregivers share critical information with their loved ones about COVID-19 and what to expect when getting a COVID-19 test or vaccine and explain how to stay safe if they are not vaccinated.”

To develop the toolkit, CDC hosted multiple discussions with adults with IDD and their caregivers, who were most often family members, and asked them to share their individual experiences and what they found helpful in talking about COVID-19 with their loved ones.

Tools to start the conversation

The toolkit contains social stories, videos, posters, and interactive activities that focus on five topics:

  • Getting a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Wearing a mask
  • Social distancing
  • Hand washing
  • Getting a COVID-19 test

There is also a tip sheet for caregivers that offers suggestions for things they can do to ease their loved one’s worries about the virus.

“Parents and caregivers work hard to help the person they support stay healthy and safe. These materials can help parents or other caregivers of people with IDD navigate important conversations about COVID-19,” said Remley.

Resources for individuals with deafness or hearing loss

In addition to the toolkit, CDC developed videos and web resources in American Sign Language (ASL). To date, more than 40 ASL videos and 25 easy-to-read documents have been produced and viewed by more than 1 million people.

Additionally, you’ll find information on Talking to Patients with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities about COVID-19 Vaccination.  FYI: There are an estimated 7.38 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the United States.

Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Approved or Authorized in the United States was updated August 31, 2021.

Vaccine Recipient Education is a great resource for COVID-19 vaccine recipients who want more information.  Many people have questions about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines. As vaccine recipients’ most-trusted source of information on vaccines, you play a critical role in helping vaccine recipients understand the importance of vaccination and that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

The information on this page will help you share clear and accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines, raise awareness about the benefits of vaccination, and address common questions and concerns about what to expect when getting vaccinated.

Are you wondering how recommendations for vaccines are made?  How CDC Is Making COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations provides information on that process.

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorizes or approves a COVID-19 vaccine, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will quickly hold a public meeting to review all available data about that vaccine. ACIP is an independent panel of medical and public health experts. Before making recommendations, ACIP reviews all available clinical trial information, including descriptions of:

  • Who received the vaccine (age, race, ethnicity, underlying medical conditions)
  • How different groups responded to the vaccine
  • What side effects people had

From these data, ACIP will then vote on whether to recommend the vaccine. While vaccine supplies were limited, ACIP also voted on recommendations for who should be offered COVID-19 vaccine first.

ACIP identified four ethical principles to guide their decision-making process when supply was limited:

  • Maximize benefits and minimize harms — Respect and care for people using the best available data to promote public health and minimize death and severe illness.
  • Mitigate health inequities — Reduce health disparities in the burden of COVID-19 disease and death, and make sure everyone has the opportunity to be as healthy as possible.
  • Promote justice — Treat affected groups, populations, and communities fairly. Remove unfair, unjust, and avoidable barriers to COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Promote transparency — Make a decision that is clear, understandable, and open for review. Allow and seek public participation in the creation and review of the decision processes.

There’s a lot of information on this website – check it out.

About mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines wasn’t updated August 30, 2021, but it was reviewed.  If you, your team, colleagues, etc. are questioning the safety of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, review the information on this website.  It provides answers/information regarding:

  • Background Information for Healthcare Providers
  • 3 Key Things to Know
  • mRNA Approach to Vaccines
  • Mechanism for Action
  • Continuous and Rigorous Safety Assessment
  • Decades of Research
  • Benefits of mRNA Vaccines
  • Related Links/Additional Resources

On the left side of the above website, you’ll find other great resources, including information re: the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine which is a viral vector vaccine.  You can also check out this CDC  resource for information on that vaccine: Understanding Viral Vector COVID-19 Vaccines.