NYC, NEW YORK — The federal public health emergency for COVID-19 is scheduled to end on May 11, and with it comes the reality that CDC will have to work with less data to track the virus and its new variants.
“The end of the public health emergency means that CDC will have less authority to collect certain types of public health data, which means there will be less data available to us,” Dr. Nirav Shah, principal deputy director of CDC, told reporters during a press conference. call earlier this month, CNBC reported.
Dr. Teresa Smith, an emergency physician at Kings County Hospital in New York City, says we are in a place where we have learned to adapt, with vaccinations and other preventive measures such as hand washing and testing, as well as treatments, such as Paxlovid, during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
At the end of the public health emergency, you will no longer see the city’s mobile testing sites. However, vaccination, testing and treatment will still be available by appointment at NYC Health + Hospitals locations.
New Yorkers will continue to have access to free home delivery of treatments such as Paxlovid.
Meanwhile, in Connecticut, the health emergency declaration enacted by Governor Ned Lamont at the immediate onset of the pandemic on March 10, 2020 is set to expire on Thursday, the same day the federal public health emergency declaration ends.
Lamont’s declaration helped the state’s executive branch use certain emergency powers to address the crisis, provide flexibility in health-related areas and ensure that federal resources could be delivered to the state. With the expiration of the declaration, those powers expire as well.
Here’s what the end of the COVID-19 federal public health emergency means.
COVID-19 vaccines and certain treatments
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), access to COVID-19 vaccines and certain treatments, such as Paxlovid and Lagevrio, will not be affected.
However, according to HHS, once the federal government stops purchasing or distributing vaccines and treatments, this may affect payment, coverage and access. But, in preparation for this transition, government partners are making plans for a smooth transition of COVID-19 vaccines and certain treatments to enter “the traditional health care market, which will occur in the coming months.”
“When that transition to the traditional health care marketplace occurs, to protect families, the Administration has facilitated access to COVID-19 vaccines with no out-of-pocket costs for nearly everyone and will continue to ensure that effective COVID-19 treatments, such as Paxlovid, are widely available,” says HHS, adding that “after the transition to the traditional health care marketplace, out-of-pocket costs for certain treatments, such as Paxlovid and Lagevrio, may change, depending on an individual’s health care coverage, similar to the costs one may experience for other covered drugs. Medicaid programs will continue to cover COVID-19 treatments with no cost-sharing through September 30, 2024. After that, coverage and cost-sharing may vary by state.”