By Jonathan Springston, Editor, Relias Media

The American Medical Association (AMA) this week revealed updates to the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT), helping the U.S. healthcare industry lay the administrative groundwork for an eventual COVID-19 vaccine.

There are unique codes for two possible vaccines and and the administration of those vaccines. The newly released codes are available so healthcare leaders can update electronic systems; prepare to allocate vaccines properly; and track, report, and analyze related data. The codes will become effective if or when the FDA either approves a vaccine or issues an emergency use authorization (EUA) for one.

“An effective national immunization program is key to bringing the coronavirus pandemic to an end,” AMA President Susan R. Bailey, MD, said in a statement. “Correlating each coronavirus vaccine with its own unique CPT code provides analytical advantages to help track, allocate, and optimize resources as an immunization program ramps up in the United States.”

Although the FDA has not approved a vaccine or issued an EUA, there is a feeling that momentum is building toward a breakthrough. For its part, the federal government has created Operation Warp Speed to provide funding for vaccine research and speed the process. Although the political pressure from the Trump White House is intense, large manufacturers are trying not to rush the process. Executives from nine companies have publicly committed to thorough testing to ensure proper safety.

There are dozens of vaccine candidates in various stages of investigation in human and animal studies. Only a few have reached the critical Phase III. The November 15 issue of Internal Medicine Alert includes a breakdown of five vaccine candidates that have reached this phase, including information about vaccine platforms and details of their respective trials.

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