Maine Medicine Weekly Update
August 20, 2021

In This Issue
Update: Annual Membership Meeting
Important Status Update on Maine Medical Association’s 168th Annual Session
Back to School
Maine Chapter American Academy of Pediatrics to Hold Back to School Town Hall
School Immunizations
New Maine Immunization Law for Schools Takes Effect Sep 1
COVID-19 Pandemic Updates, Guidance & News
ME DHHS COVID-19 Vaccines - Special Clinician Info Session - Tues, Aug 24, 7:30AM
Top National Pandemic Actions & News This Week
FDA COVID-19 Updates & Info
Bangor Daily News: What You Can Do If You Lost Your COVID-19 Vaccination Card In Maine
Scope of Practice
Nurse Anesthetists Announce Name Change; ASA Responds
Safety Issues
FDA: Stop Using All Eco-Med Ultrasound Gels and Lotions Due to Risk of Bacterial Contamination
More Immunization News
Maine CDC Makes New Vaccine Products Available Through Maine Immunization Program (MIP)
Maine CDC Vaccine Provider Training
ACIP General Best Practice Guidelines for Immunization Updates - 8/17/2021
MIPS Feedback & Performance Update from AMA
Update: 2020 MIPS Performance Feedback, Final Score, and 2022 MIPS Payment Adjustment Information
Rural Health
Healthcare Dive: Biden administration invests $19M to bolster rural telehealth
More News
SUPPORT for ME: Strengthening Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Services for MaineCare Members
Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership’s Renowned Physician Executive Leadership Institute – The Advanced Course
Maine Community Action Partnership: Did You Know?
MMA-CQI Has Launched a New Module: "Increasing HPV Vaccination Rates in Clinical Practice"
Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
AAP EQIPP Course: Immunizations - Strategies for Success (for RURAL Health Providers)
SUPPORT for ME Training and Technical Assistance Initiative
Working with Children & Adolescents? Maine Pediatric & Behavioral Health Partnership (MPBHP) Webinar Series (August thru December 2nd Wednesday of month)
Nurse Practitioner
Physician (BC/BE in Family Medicine) - Richmond Area Health Center
Help educate new physicians – join our accredited Family Medicine Residency Program as faculty
Join our region-leading Neuroscience/Stroke Center
Contract Clinical Advisor - Healthcare Coalition of Maine
Medical Director
Northern Light Health is seeking board-eligible/board-certified Cardiologists

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Follow Us:
Top National Pandemic Actions & News This Week

  • Moderna & Pfizer Booster Shots Will Be Available in September
  • U.S. Will Require Nursing Home Employees To Get COVID-19 Vaccine(s)
  • More Than One Million Doses Were Administered Over One 24-hour Period This Week

Moderna & Pfizer Booster Shots Will Be Available in September

The Biden Administration announced a nationwide booster shot plan this week which will start the week of September 20th. US Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy announced during a White House briefing that the first phase of boosters will commence for “our most vulnerable populations, like our health care providers, nursing home residents and other seniors. We will also begin delivering booster shots directly to residents of long-term care facilities."

People 18 years and older who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines will be eligible for a booster dose eight months after their second dose. The booster shots will not be extended as of yet to those who received Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine because public health officials await trial results using two doses.

Although the initiative will still need to be authorized by the FDA and US CDC, the announcement comes afterthree new studies outlined in US CDC Morbidity & Mortality Reports appear to show the vaccines still appear to remain effective at preventing severe illness and hospitalization for most people.

However, Céline Gounder, MD, ScM, FIDSA, an infectious disease specialist at NYU and a former member of the Biden-Harris Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board, questions such a broad plan for boosters stating, “I do not understand the urgency of giving the general population additional doses of COVID vaccine at this time,” and said boosters could be limited to vulnerable groups like people over 80. “[The vaccines] remain highly protective vs hospitalization & death.”


U.S. Will Require Nursing Home Employees To Get COVID-19 Vaccine(s)

President Joe Biden this week stated his administration will require employees at nursing homes to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of the facilities participating in the Medicare and Medicaid government health care programs. Governor Mills announced a statewide mandate for all health care workers last week.

The President and CEO of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living responded by saying that focusing on nursing homes "will cause vaccine hesitant workers to flee to other healthcare providers" and "make an already difficult workforce shortage even worse."

The announcement came Wednesday, August 18, after a US CDC Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) presented a new study comparing weekly data from over 3,800 nursing homes and long-term care facilities spanning March 1 to May 9, before Delta became widespread, to data from nearly 15,000 facilities covering June 21 to Aug. 9, when the variant was responsible for the majority of new infections.

Researchers found that efficacy of the two-dose vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna for preventing any coronavirus infection — mild or severe — dropped from 74.7% to 53.1%. Effectiveness estimates were similar for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, they said.

US CDC August 18, 2021 MMWR: Effectiveness of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Vaccines in Preventing SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Nursing Home Residents Before and During Widespread Circulation of the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) Variant — National Healthcare Safety Network, March 1–August 1, 2021

More COVID Nursing Home News:

The Bangor Daily News reported this week that “Maine’s delta variant surge has largely spared nursing homes.”


More Than One Million Doses Were Administered Over One 24-hour Period This Week

According to White House figures, more than one million doses were administered in the past 24 hours, including half a million people with a first dose. It was also a 31 percent week-over week increase in the daily average of people completing their vaccine series.

Thursday’s announcement marks the first time there have been at least 1 million doses administered in close to seven weeks. Vaccinations had slowed down after hitting a peak in mid-April of about 3.3 million doses per day.

Full story from The Hill can be found here.

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