6/20/21 – Health Advisory: COVID-19 Updates for Providers

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Requested actions

  • Be aware, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) extended the shelf life of Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine from 3 months to 4½ months.
    • Visit Janssen’s lot expiry checker to determine the updated expiration of your Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine.
  • Be aware of local and national reports of myocarditis and pericarditis among people who received COVID-19 mRNA vaccine within the last 2 weeks.
  • Vaccinate everyone 12 years or older against COVID-19.
    • Review all patients’ vaccination records and help them get up to date with vaccines. You can administer COVID-19 vaccine simultaneous with, or within any number of days of, other vaccines.
  • Be prepared to help patients verify their vaccination status.
    • Send them to MyIR Mobile if they can read English and have internet access and skills.
    • Send others to the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) call center at (800) 525-0127. Operators can help callers access and verify their vaccination records in WAIIS and help those who need other language services or interpretation.
    • Supply patients with a WAIIS or electronic health record (EHR) printout if the above options don’t work.
  • Complete a survey by the Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (WCAAP) and DOH by June 20, 2021 to better understand provider’s need in administering COVID-19 vaccine to adolescents.


Myocarditis and pericarditis following COVID-19 vaccination

On May 17, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vaccine Safety Technical Subgroup reported a few cases of myocarditis and pericarditis among people who received COVID-19 mRNA vaccine. No similar reporting pattern is observed after receiving Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine. Local and national investigations continue. Of cases reported in Washington, 90% are males under 30 years. Those who presented for care, promptly improved after treatment and rest. Disease onset occurs more often following dose 2 than dose 1, and typically within several days after vaccination.

CDC continues to recommend COVID-19 vaccination for people 12 years or older.

Clinical features of myocarditis and pericarditis include:

  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Palpitations.
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG) changes.
  • Elevated cardiac biomarkers.

Clinical recommendations:

  • Promptly report cases to VAERS at https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html.
  • Consider myocarditis and pericarditis in adolescents and young adults with clinical signs and symptoms. In this younger population, coronary events are less likely to be a source of these symptoms.
  • Elicit a detailed history, including vaccination status and potential exposures to COVID-19. Ask about medical, travel, and social history.
  • Test patients for COVID-19 infection with a molecular (PCR) test.
  • For initial evaluation, consider ECG, troponin level, and inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. It is important to consider other potential causes.
  • For suspected cases, consider consultation with cardiology for assistance with cardiac evaluation and management. Evaluation and management may vary depending on the patient’s age, clinical presentation, potential causes, or practice preference of the provider.

Additional information

Additional vaccine resources

COVID-19 testing

Abbott Laboratories extended all BinaxNOW tests’ shelf life to 12 months. See Abbott’s BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card Product Expiry Update for new expiration dates by lot number.

COVID-19 test processing

Labs report varying amounts of time to process COVID-19 tests. To support faster turnaround, we encourage providers to use in-state labs. The table below shows COVID-19 test processing times for in-state private labs.

FidaLab 24-48 hours 500
Kaiser 24 hours 600-700
LabCorp 24-48 hours Unknown
Northwest Pathology 24-48 hours 20,000
Quest 24-48 hours 700
UW Virology 18-24 hours 6,000-8,000
Atlas Genomic 16 hours 10,000

Patient education

Share the following materials with patients.

Additional resources