There is a lot happening right now in the world of pediatric infectious disease prevention. If you’re confused about what you are hearing on the news, you aren’t alone!
Flu vaccines are recommended every fall for all children six months of age and older. We expect to have our first shipments of flu vaccine arriving around the second week of October, and will post information here and on our social media accounts when it becomes available. If you like to geek out on the latest information from the CDC, here’s the link: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/acip/summary/summary-recommendations.htm
COVID vaccine is a more complicated subject. Rumor has it that we will be hearing more about a new fall booster later this week. The COVID vaccine will soon be commercialized, meaning that clinics such as ours will have to buy the vaccine for our clients with commercial insurance and wait to be paid for it after insurance claims are submitted (just like other vaccines). The problem is that we can’t predict the demand, and if we end up with a bunch of expired vaccine, we stand to lose a lot of money in the end. The Vaccines For Children program will send us the vaccines for kids on Medicaid, which is a huge help, but their rules currently state that we will have to agree to be a COVID vaccine supplier for commercial contracts as well. There are a lot of unanswered questions about minimum order size and single-use vial versus multi-dose vials … Suffice it to say, we just don’t know yet what will happen with COVID vaccines this fall, but we promise to keep you updated.
You also may have heard about the new product designed to help decrease the severity of RSV infection in babies. Call nirsevimab (Beyfortus), it’s not a true vaccine but rather a long-lasting dose of a monoclonal antibody that providers what is called ‘passive immunization’ against this nasty virus. The science is looking pretty good but again there are a lot of unanswered questions about how it will be paid for and distributed as it is a pretty expensive product. We will try to keep you informed of our progress with this.