As you may be aware, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections potentially linked to “Soft Serve On The Go” ice cream 8-oz cups produced by Real Kosher Ice Cream of Brooklyn, NY, which issued a recall of all flavors of these cups on August 9.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has amended the emergency use authorizations of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 bivalent mRNA vaccines to simplify the vaccination schedule for most individuals. By doing so, the agency has authorized an additional booster shot for those 65 and older at least four months following their initial bivalent dose.
The FDA will be allowing certain people to receive a second booster of an updated COVID-19 vaccine designed to tackle the omicron variant.
The global pandemic has amplified the importance of infection prevention and control in senior living communities, making it essential for leaders to ensure that measures are put in place to protect seniors from life-threatening illnesses. In an increasingly interconnected world, the health of our elderly population is more vulnerable than ever before and it's up to us to understand the potential risks and implement strategies that can help prevent the spread of infectious diseases and reduce their severity when they do occur.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that with the rising number of respiratory diseases affecting the nation as winter progresses, it is important for long-term care operators to encourage more residents to receive the updated (bivalent) COVID-19 boosters.
On Monday, October 3, 2022, the Supreme Court rejected a request brought by 10 states led by Missouri to hear a renewed challenge to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) COVID-19 vaccination mandate for healthcare workers. The mandate applies only to Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities that are subject to CMS’s health and safety regulations – and thus does not apply to assisted living facilities.
It should be noted that the Court’s decision does not in any way impact the scope of CMS’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate. As such, assisted living facilities, including those providing Home and Community-based Services (HCBS), remain excluded from the scope of CMS’s mandate. As a reminder, CMS has clarified via guidance that its COVID-19 vaccination mandate does not apply to assisted living, noting that it “does not have regulatory authority over care settings such as assisted living….” CMS also clarified that the mandate would also not apply to assisted living facilities that provide HCBS under state Medicaid programs, because “CMS’s health and safety regulations do not cover” HCBS providers.
Many assisted living providers would have been covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) vaccination-and-testing rule for large businesses, originally issued in November 2021. However, in January of this year, the Supreme Court blocked OSHA from implementing the rule, and OSHA subsequently withdrew the rule as an enforceable standard.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have updated the Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic. An excerpt is listed below.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on newly-updated COVID-19 booster shots Thursday night, giving the final clearance shots to be administered soon after.
U.S. health regulators cleared use of retooled Covid-19 vaccines that target the latest versions of Omicron, in preparation for a fall booster campaign that could start within days.