The Briefing provides an at-a-glance view of some important developments in the information universe surrounding COVID-19. The views presented here are solely those of ECRI Horizon Scanning and have not been vetted by other stakeholders.

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Vaccine development is moving fast now. Initial data show about 95% efficacy for 2 mRNA vaccines— Moderna’s mRNA-1273 and Pfizer and BioNTech’s BNT162b2. Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) may be granted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before this Scan is published, but concerns remain over early use of any vaccine. ECRI continues to call on the FDA to insist on 6 months of follow-up data and the Vaccine Working Group on Ethics and Policy is proposing the use of expanded access for those at greatest risk rather than a blanket EUA. Plans for equitable allocation and safety monitoring are now paramount (See Topics to Watch).

For our early coverage of mRNA vaccines, see PCORI COVID-19 Scan, May 28-June 10, 2020 for mRNA-1273 and see PCORI COVID-19 Scan, July 9-July 22, 2020 for BNT162.

COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Planner

At a Glance

  • As safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines become available, early supplies will likely be limited.
  • The COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Planner might help achieve orderly and equitable distribution of early coronavirus vaccine doses by helping state and county decision makers distribute the doses among priority populations.
  • The planning tool provides estimates of the size of high-priority populations in users’ respective geographic regions and considers other factors, such as community vulnerability, when prioritizing populations.
  • The allocation planner also helps users estimate the number of vaccine doses available and vaccine coverage achievable under different scenarios.

COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Assessment for Essential Workers (V-SAFE)

At a Glance

  • Vaccine Safety Assessment for Essential Workers (V-SAFE) is a smartphone-based active surveillance program developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to measure the safety of coronavirus vaccines in the first recipients (eg, health care staff, essential workers, and others).
  • V-SAFE will use text-to-web and email-to-web surveys to conduct health checks in up to 20 million (or more) participants during the initial months of a vaccination program.
  • The CDC has validated text messaging as an effective method for monitoring vaccine safety and plans to monitor participants’ health via text or email daily for the first week and weekly for the next 6 weeks.
  • V-SAFE will purportedly let the CDC estimate rates of local and systemic immune reactions and vaccine-related adverse events; then compare coronavirus vaccine adverse event rates with other vaccinations’ rates (eg, influenza) and background population rates.

Commentary in this COVID-19 Scan reflects preliminary views of ECRI Horizon Scanning and internal ECRI stakeholders.
The information contained in this document has not been vetted by other stakeholders.

We welcome your comments on this Scan. Send them by email to [email protected].

Posted: December 2, 2020

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