Vaccine production, at-home COVID-19 testing & more — 4 supply chain updates

Sandra Lindsay, RN, a critical care nurse and intensive care unit director at New York City-based Long Island Jewish Medical Center, on Dec. 14 became the first American to receive Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine.

Three more healthcare supply chain updates:

1. The FDA has authorized several COVID-19 tests for at-home use. The latest authorization was Dec. 16 for Abbott's BinaxNOW test, which is available by prescription only, costs $25 and delivers results in about 15 minutes. The FDA has also approved an at-home test from LabCorp that doesn't require a prescription, and one from Lucira that does.

2. HHS said Dec. 11 that it reportedly to purchase an additional 100 million doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine. The government is also reportedly negotiating a deal to use its buying power to help Pfizer boost production of its COVID-19 vaccine. The existing supply of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine may be more robust than previously thought; hospital pharmacists discovered Dec. 16 that some vials contained six or seven doses instead of the expected five. However, the same day, U.S. officials quarantined several thousand doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine Dec. 16 after an "anomaly" in the transportation process led to the vaccines getting too cold.

3. California law will require all hospitals to maintain three-month stockpiles of new, unexpired and unused personal protective equipment starting in April. The law was created in response to widespread shortages of PPE caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that have put healthcare workers and patients at risk. But some smaller, rural hospitals are concerned they don't have the purchasing power or storage capacity to follow the new requirements.

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