BCHHS Public Health Provider COVID Update: ACIP recommendations about mRNA vaccines amid myocarditis reports; new OSHA standard
July 9, 2021
Local COVID-19 update
- As of today, there have been 18,128 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 326 COVID-19 related deaths in Buncombe County residents since the start of the pandemic.
- The percent of tests that are positive in Buncombe County residents is fairly stable at 1.9%. However, the statewide percent positivity has increased over the past several days to 4.8%.
- There have been 15 cases per 100,000 population in the last 7 days in Buncombe County, a slight increase from the prior week.
- The delta variant is now causing the majority of new COVID infections in the US.
- All 3 COVID-19 vaccines available in the US have been shown to be effective against this highly contagious variant. Please continue to encourage your patients, colleagues, friends and family members to get vaccinated if they haven’t yet done so.
- Per the NCDHHS dashboard, 53% of the population of Buncombe County has been vaccinated with at least 1 dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 51% is fully vaccinated. More details on the demographics of those vaccinated can be found on the dashboard.
Update on reports of myocarditis or pericarditis following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination
- On June 23rd, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) reviewed reported cases of myocarditis or pericarditis in recipients of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Myocarditis and pericarditis have been a rare side effect of the mRNA vaccines. Males aged 12-29 years have been the population predominately affected, with symptoms typically developing within a few days after receiving the 2nd dose of vaccine.
- Myocarditis and pericarditis are much more common consequences of COVID-19 infection, and the risks to the heart from COVID-19 infection can be more severe.
- After reviewing the benefits and risks of these vaccines, and given the greater risk of other serious complications related to COVID-19 (e.g., hospitalization, multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or death), ACIP determined that the benefits of using the vaccines clearly outweigh the risks of myocarditis and pericarditis in everyone 12 years of age or older.
- Those receiving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, especially males aged 12-29 years, should be informed of the possibility of myocarditis or pericarditis developing and the need to seek care if symptoms (chest pain, shortness of breath or feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heart) develop.
- Please continue to follow the CDC’s clinical considerations about myocarditis and pericarditis in adolescents & young adults after receipt of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.
- Report all cases of myocarditis or pericarditis following COVID-19 vaccination to VAERS.
Updated CDC COVID-19 vaccine guidance
OSHA COVID-19 Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard
- On 6/21/2021, an OSHA COVID-19 emergency temporary standard (ETS) for healthcare settings became effective. The goal of this ETS is to protect healthcare workers from COVID-19. OSHA developed a flowchart to help employers determine if their workplace is covered by the ETS.
- NC SPICE held a webinar on this ETS on 6/14. (Slides and a recording)
BCHHS COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics
- Our COVID-19 vaccine clinic continues at the BCHHS building at 40 Coxe Ave. in downtown Asheville. The clinic is open Mon-Fri from 9a-4p to walk-ins. We continue to vaccinate those 12 years of age and older, and have all 3 authorized vaccines available onsite.
- We also continue to support community-based vaccine efforts.
Want to start providing COVID-19 vaccine to your patients? Need more vaccine?
- BCHHS Public Health staff are available to answer your questions about handling and storage of the vaccine, and will get you the amount of vaccine you need to meet your clinic’s needs. Please reach out to me or the BCHHS Pharmacist, Monica Dillingham, with questions or vaccine requests. (Monica.Dillingham@buncombecounty.org)