Enjoy your Wednesday NCMS Morning Rounds.

Dec. 16, 2020

More information on the COVID-19 Vaccine

This week health care workers in North Carolina hospitals began to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last Friday. Read the FDA’s press release on the authorization here. The press release also provides information and discussion on available safety and effectiveness data.

This represents the first vaccine authorized for the prevention of COVID-19. The FDA may issue an EUA for the vaccine developed by Moderna as early as this Friday, after review and recommendation by an independent panel of experts on Thursday, according to media reports.

The FDA issued a fact sheet on administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for both physicians and PAs as well as information for vaccine recipients and caregivers. Access the physician/PA fact sheet here. Access the information for recipients and caregivers here.

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) held a call for clinicians on COVID-19 vaccine safety and how the agency monitors and tracks the safety of the vaccine. The slides from that call are available here and contain valuable information about safety monitoring.

Watch your NCMS Morning Rounds for information from last night’s NC Department of Health and Human Services webinar on the vaccine and what you need to know about the state’s distribution and monitoring plans.

NCMS Joins Business, Farming Organizations to Encourage COVID Prevention

Taking a local approach to encouraging the public to follow public health guidelines to protect North Carolina communities, the NCMS recently joined forces with the NC Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA), the NC Farm Bureau Insurance Group and the NC Chamber in a joint media statement. Each organization provided local sources for the media to get a hometown perspective on why it is important for everyone to practice the 3 W’s – wear a mask, wash your hands, wait six feet apart.

Here is the joint statement including a video of each organization’s leadership delivering the message:

North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS), the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA), the North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance Group and the NC Chamber have come together to strongly encourage the public to follow public health guidelines in order to help protect our communities against COVID-19 and keep businesses open.

View a video from leaders of these groups: https://bit.ly/working-protecting.

Wearing a mask, observing physical distancing and washing hands frequently are simple steps to mitigate the risk of transmitting the coronavirus and help ensure the health and safety of our community as we go about our daily business. Businesses, many of which have been struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic, are depending on customers to help them by shopping safely and following the public health guidelines.

“There are many retail stores that were closed for weeks and are struggling to recover from the shutdown. They are anxiously awaiting customers to return to shop, and they need your help both economically and with compliance to the face covering requirement. These businesses simply cannot afford a civil penalty or a criminal penalty because of customers not abiding by Governor Cooper’s Order,” said Andy Ellen, president and general counsel of the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association. “Simply put, please wear a mask or face covering and be considerate if you are asked to do so when you are shopping. Together, we can make this a happy holiday for everyone.”

Health care workers on the frontlines also ask the public to follow the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) 3 W’s – Wear a mask, Wash your hands, Wait six feet apart.

“As an organization representing North Carolina’s physicians and PAs, we know that wearing a mask, physical distancing and washing your hands are common sense and scientifically proven methods of stemming the spread of infectious disease like the coronavirus,” said NCMS Executive Vice President and CEO Chip Baggett, JD. “We join with businesses throughout the state to help get the message out that by working together and following these simple steps, we can protect our community.”

The NC Farm Bureau Insurance Group also is urging the public to work together to protect our communities.

“At Farm Bureau, we’re in the people business. Helping people and protecting their families and livelihoods is not just what we do, it’s who we are,” said NC Farm Bureau President Shawn Harding. “That’s why we’re listening to health authorities and doing everything we can to keep people safe and businesses open. We hope you’ll join us in supporting local businesses this holiday season, and we urge you to follow all health protocols including wearing a mask and observing social distancing.”

Since the start of the pandemic major companies in a variety of industries, including manufacturing and all types of retail have made wide-ranging changes in their operations with the health of employees and customers in mind. The business community calls on individuals to do their part so they can operate safely and continue to serve the public.

“North Carolina employers know how to keep people safe and their success relies on it,” said Gary Salamido, president and CEO of the NC Chamber. “If all North Carolinians work together, we can protect lives and livelihoods.”

“Get It, Got It, Good” Seasonal Flu Campaign Materials

The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) recently launched a new public service campaign to encourage people to get their flu shot – especially this year. The ‘Get It, Got It, Good” campaign (watch the video here) talks about the importance of the seasonal flu vaccine as we near the traditional peak of the flu season in January and February. With hospital beds at a premium due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is especially important that people get their flu vaccines this year.

NCDHHS has provided a toolkit with videos, graphics and social media posts to help get the word out in your community. Access the resources here.

In the News

The Coronavirus at 1: A Year into the Pandemic, What Scientists Know About How it Spreads, Infects and Sickens, STAT, 12-14-20

Learning Opportunity

Join us for this week’s Power Hour on Friday, Dec. 18 from noon to 1 p.m. when our guests will be Emergency Medicine clinicians and how emergency departments are dealing with the surge in COVID-19 cases and what may lie ahead. Also, they will share how they are coping with their own stress and workload.

Our guests include Jennifer Parker Cote, MD, Vidant Health; Charul Haugan, MD, UNC Rex; Mike Utecht, MD; Veterans Affairs, Durham and Stephen Small, MD, Mid-Atlantic Emergency Medical Associates. This is an opportunity to share knowledge and learn from each other about the current situation and its impact. Learn more and register here.

The KIPL Power Hour aims to provide a forum for ongoing conversation, collaboration and community. Tune in to Power Hour weekly to hear from different experts, decision makers and influencers on a variety of topics. The format is informal and conversational and sessions are easy to access through Zoom. Power Hours will be recorded and made available to you through your NCMS Morning Rounds and on the KIPL webpage.

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