Billing Vaccines – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to include children between 12 and 15 years old. The FDA made its announcement on Monday, May 10, 2021, having previously authorized the use of their vaccine only for people aged 16 and older. The move was made to accelerate efforts to drive down COVID-19 infections across the nation, and possibly protect against the disease before families have to think about the return to school in the fall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plans to convene a meeting of its vaccine advisory committee in the coming days to approve use and allow for the vaccine to be distributed as soon as possible.
Since the novel coronavirus kicked off the COVID-19 pandemic over a year ago, a race to create a safe and effective vaccine began. Pfizer was one of the first companies to create such a vaccine. After getting FDA approval for the two-dose vaccine to be used by older teens and adults, Pfizer continued its research, including starting a clinical trial of over 2000 adolescents, to assess the vaccine’s efficacy in younger children. Even though trend data seems to show that children who are infected with the virus and acquire COVID-19 suffer fewer and/or less severe symptoms than adults, the FDA believes the Pfizer vaccine will be effective in children, with benefits outweighing risks.
The FDA published a news release as soon as it approved the expansion of the vaccine’s emergency use authorization. “The FDA’s expansion of the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to include adolescents 12 through 15 years of age is a significant step in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. “Today’s action allows for a younger population to be protected from COVID-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic. Parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available data, as we have with all of our COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations.”
The FDA’s press announcement states that while the agency approves of the emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine, it is aware of the need for continued safety monitoring and research. “At this time, there are limited data to address whether the vaccine can prevent transmission of the virus from person to person. In addition, at this time, data are not available to determine how long the vaccine will provide protection,” the FDA affirms. Pfizer (and other vaccine providers including Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) must report any serious negative vaccine-related health impacts to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, as a condition of being granted emergency use authorization.
Quick Claimers Medical Billing is a professional medical coding and billing company based in El Paso, Texas. Quick Claimers Medical Billing is committed to providing effective medical coding and billing solutions to healthcare professionals to support productivity and payment, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic persists. The experienced team of medical coding and billing specialists at Quick Claimers will organize and process healthcare claims accurately and efficiently, to ensure that healthcare providers receive appropriate payment for all the services they offer, including COVID-19 vaccinations. If you would like more information about what Quick Claimers can do to help your practice, please contact Quick Claimers Medical Billing online or by phone at 915-351-6600.