6/7/21 – Health Advisory: COVID-19 Updates for Providers

woman with facemask

Requested actions

  • 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.
  • Build trust in COVID-19 vaccines.
  • 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.

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. Cases are predominantly male adolescents and young adults. Disease onset occurs more often following dose 2 than dose 1, and typically within several days after vaccination. Most cases appear to be mild, and follow-up is ongoing. It is not currently clear if there is a causal association with COVID-19 vaccination. CDC continues to recommend COVID-19 vaccination for people 12 years or older.

CDC is monitoring myocarditis and pericarditis in multiple safety systems, including VAERS and the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD). To date, a safety signal has not been identified in VAERS or VSD.

CDC posted Clinical Considerations: Myocarditis and Pericarditis after Receipt of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Among Adolescents and Young Adults, as well as related resources for the public. To support ongoing monitoring for this potential adverse event, evaluate patients with chest pain for myocarditis or pericarditis and inquire about recent COVID-19 vaccination. Promptly report any such cases to VAERS and to the Health Department. Clinical features of myocarditis and pericarditis include:

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

Elicit a detailed history, including vaccination status and potential exposures to COVID-19. Test patients for COVID-19 infection with a molecular (PCR) test. Initial evaluation should include ECG, troponin level, and inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. It is important to consider other potential causes.

Additional information

New vaccination incentives

On June 3, Gov. Jay Inslee announced COVID-19 vaccination incentives. The state will draw winners from the Washington State Immunization Information System (WA IIS). Accurate and prompt vaccination records are crucial to properly incentivize vaccine recipients.

  • Enter all COVID-19 vaccination records into WA IIS as quickly as possible.
  • Make sure patient information is accurate and up to date.
  • Make sure you enter all submitted patient information. Many people are having trouble getting MyIR Mobile to recognize them because the provider did not enter their phone number or other crucial information.

Be prepared, patients may contact you to verify their vaccination status. If they do so, you may:

  • Send them to MyIR Mobile if they can read English and have internet access and skills.
  • Send them to the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) call center at (800) 525-0127 if they prefer a different language or don’t have internet access or skills. Operators can help callers access and verify their vaccination records in WA IIS and can help in many languages or connect with an interpreter.
  • Supply them with a WA IIS or electronic health record (EHR) printout if the above options don’t work for them.

Additional information

Recent MMWR publications

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 600
Kaiser 24 hours 600-700
LabCorp 48 hours Unknown
Northwest Pathology 24-48 hours 20,000
Quest 24-48 hours 600
UW Virology 18-24 hours 3,000-6,000
Atlas Genomic 9 hours 10,000

Patient education

Share the following materials with patients.

Additional resources