COVID-19 Report

Don’t Miss This HHS Event

National Vaccine Advisory Committee Public Meeting
What: NVAC Meeting Hosted by HHS
When: February 4, 2021 – February 5, 2021
Where: The Great Hall, Humphrey Building, Washington, DC 20201
Register for this event

National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC)
Established in 1987, the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) recommends ways to achieve optimal prevention of human infectious diseases through vaccine development, and provides direction to prevent adverse reactions to vaccines. This advice is presented to the Assistant Secretary for Health who serves as the Director of National Vaccine Program on matters related to program responsibilities. In 2017, NVAC celebrated 30 years of advising the nation on critical immunization topics.

Products and Technology

Lumeon Eases the Burden on Care Teams with the Rapid Deployment of COVID-19 Vaccination Self-Scheduling
Lumeon (@lumeon_), a digital health company in care journey orchestration, announced the launch of its COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign Management solution, allowing healthcare providers to rapidly deploy vaccination programs and alleviate the pressure on care teams with automated patient outreach, self-scheduling, and surveys.

MicroGEM Acquires Jump Start, Expands Manufacturing to Accelerate Production of COVID-19 Saliva Test
MicroGEM (@MicroGEMbio), a Virginia-based molecular diagnostics company, announced its acquisition of Jump Start Manufacturing LLC (Jump Start), a New Hampshire-based engineering company with proven success in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. The acquisition allows MicroGEM to rapidly scale production of its innovative Spitfire 6830 SARS-CoV-2 testing system, a high-performance, PCR-based point-of-need saliva test.

News and Noted

BPC Releases COVID-19 Recommendations to Accelerate Federal Pandemic Response
As the nation faces continuing COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, deaths, and vaccine delays and shortages, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (@BPC_Bipartisan) Future of Health Care Initiative released a new report with a set of recommendations for urgent action by the Biden administration and Congress that would bolster the federal response to the pandemic.

AMA applauds Biden administration for swift action on COVID-19
Susan R. Bailey, M.D., President American Medical Association (@AmerMedicalAssn), says “With COVID-19 continuing to spread rampantly throughout the U.S., we applaud the Biden administration for taking immediate action today to activate the Defense Production Act (DPA) to ramp up the production of personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as testing and vaccine supplies desperately needed to stem the spread of illness and deaths.”

U.S. to escalate tracking of COVID variants as confirmed cases top 25 million
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is stepping up efforts to track coronavirus mutations and keep vaccines and treatments effective against new variants until collective immunity is reached, the agency’s chief said on Sunday.

Leading Corporations and Foundations Come Together to Support National COVID-19 Vaccine Education Effort from the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative
The Ad Council announced that the organization has raised $37 million of its $50 million goal for a national communications effort to increase confidence in vaccination against COVID-19. Developed in partnership with COVID Collaborative, the initiative will reach key audiences across the country through research-driven creative campaigns, strategic media placements, community outreach and trusted messenger engagement–representing one of the largest public education efforts in history.

Beacon Health Options provides needed relief for those caught in twin pandemics of opioid use disorder and COVID-19
In late 2019, to help address this ongoing crisis in Massachusetts, Beacon Health Options (@beaconhealthopt), a behavioral health services company headquartered in Boston, announced the distribution of $128,800 in grants to four community-based behavioral health organizations. Due to the program’s success, Beacon will fund the same four organizations for another year, with an additional $125,000 starting in late 2020.

CMS Releases Comprehensive Pandemic Plan to Chronicle Key Lessons and Strengthen Agency’s Resiliency to Future Pandemic Virus Events
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (@CMSGov) released the CMS Pandemic Plan, which details the response and actions CMS utilized to support the country’s healthcare system and its beneficiaries during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency pandemic.

ATA Supports The Bipartisan Protecting Access To Post-COVID-19 Telehealth Act Of 2021 Reintroduced By The Congressional Telehealth Caucus
The American Telemedicine Association (@AmericanTelemed) voiced its strong support of the Protecting Access to Post-COVID-19 Telehealth Act of 2021, which was reintroduced this week by Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05), Co-Chair of the Congressional Telehealth Caucus, along with caucus Co-Chairs Rep. David Schweikert (AZ-06), Rep. Peter Welch (VT-AL), and Rep. Bill Johnson (OH-06), and caucus member Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-06). This bipartisan bill would permanently ensure access to telehealth after the COVID-19 public health emergency by eliminating restrictions on telehealth in Medicare beneficiaries and requiring a study on its use during the pandemic.

45% of Adults Over 65 Lack Online Medical Accounts, Which Could Affect COVID-19 Vaccination
According to the newly analyzed data from the National Poll on Healthy Aging, based at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, as the vaccination of older adults against COVID-19 begins across the country, new poll data suggests that many of them don’t yet have access to the “patient portal” online systems that could make it much easier for them to schedule a vaccination appointment.

Surveys and Reports

Survey: COVID-19 Pandemic Is Advancing Healthcare Technology
The COVID-19 pandemic has a majority of Americans more aware of their health and embracing health technology from telemedicine to virtual workouts, according to a new national survey of 1,000 U.S. adults.

Survey: Healthcare Industry Will Continue to Embrace Digital Healthcare Platforms in 2021
Noteworth (@noteworth_), a virtual care delivery platform, released findings of their latest survey highlighting the ways in which digital medicine platforms helped organizations navigate the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the more than 250 medical professionals surveyed, two-thirds (68%) believe that healthcare organizations will continue engaging with patients via digital healthcare platforms post-pandemic.

Alcohol-free hand sanitizer and other quaternary ammonium disinfectants quickly and effectively inactivate SARS-CoV-2
A new study published in The Journal of Hospital Infection from researchers at Brigham Young University, finds that alcohol-free hand sanitizers containing benzalkonium chloride are just as effective against the COVID-19 virus as alcohol-based products.

To Listen

We have compiled a playlist from all our shows and podcasts on our network that discuss the current COVID-19 pandemic.


Physicians’ Reciprocal Insurers (PRI)
What: COVID-19 Physician Peer Support
When: Tuesdays & Thursdays 5:30 – 6:30 pm ET
Register for Tuesday & Thursday Groups

COVID-19 Physician Peer Support – PRI has multiple weekly complimentary Virtual Support Groups on Coping with COVID-19 which your fellow physicians have been utilizing and finding great comfort and support from.

COVID-19 Resources
HealthcareNOW Radio rounded up some health IT resources being offered by companies to help healthcare professionals, American citizens and all of those affected in the fight against the coronavirus.

COVID-19 Pharma News
HealthcareNOW Radio rounded up some of the latest news and announcements pertaining to the coronavirus and the pharmaceutical industry.

Latest COVID-19 News from CDC
CDC is one of the major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services. CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the US. CDC increases the health security of our nation. As the nation’s health protection agency, CDC saves lives and protects people from health threats.

The CDC is the front line for our safety and information on the Coronavirus. Keep informed about COVID-19. Sign up to get emails or text alerts from the CDC.

Health Center COVID-19 Testing
Updated weekly using data from the Health Center COVID-19 Survey, the Health Center COVID-19 Testing Dashboard provides a high-level view of total COVID-19 tests conducted and the distribution of positive COVID-19 tests by race and ethnicity.