Coronavirus News Roundup: Vaccine Receives FDA Panel Recommendation, COVID-19 Coverage at ASHP Midyear


Here’s a roundup of the latest coronavirus-related news:


The number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the United States continue to reach record highs, with approximately 107,248 COVID-19––related hospitalizations as of December 10, according to The COVID Tracking Project. This week, the FDA review panel recommended the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, and a virtual session from ASHP Midyear 2020 Clinical Meeting and Exhibition offers ways that pharmacists can prepare to address patient questions and concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Here’s a roundup of the latest coronavirus-related news:

FDA Panel Recommends Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for Emergency Use

A panel of outside experts voted to recommend COVID-19 vaccine candidate BNT162b2 for widespread emergency use in the US, according to the FDA Advisory Committee meeting held on Thursday. The decision moves the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine one step closer to receiving EUA from the FDA.

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Understanding the COVID-19 Vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccine landscape is rapidly changing. As pharmacists prepare to eventually immunize the public, they should equip themselves with the knowledge necessary to accurately address patients’ questions and concerns.

In a virtual session at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists 2020 Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition, Litjen Tan, PhD, MS, chief strategy officer at Immunization Action Coalition in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Mary S. Hayney, PharmD, MPH, FCCP, BCPS, professor of pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy, discussed the clinical considerations for ensuring the safety and efficacy of a COVID-19 vaccine, as well as opportunities to address vaccine hesitancy.

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Tom Hanks Talks COVID-19 Experience During ASHP Midyear

Back in March 2020, while abroad in Australia working on a film, Tom Hanks and his wife, actress Rita Wilson, began to feel unwell.

After the pair tested positive for COVID-19, they spent 3 nights in a hospital and 10 days being “beaten up by the virus,” as Hanks described in the virtual opening session and keynote at the ASHP Midyear 2020 Clinical Meeting & Exhibition, which was held on Monday, December 7.

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ACIP: Prioritize Health Care Personnel, LTC Residents for COVID-19 Vaccination

With a decision by the FDA on whether to authorize the use of 2 COVID-19 candidates expected in the coming weeks, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) COVID-19 Vaccines Work Group met on December 1 to discuss the phased allocation of future vaccines to priority groups.

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