Skip to main content

COVID-19 FAQ and Resources for Physicians & Providers

Updated July 29, 2021

FAQ and resources

Children's Mercy is committed to providing answers and information related to COVID-19. Answers to frequently asked questions are categorized by topic and updated on an ongoing basis below. 

 

COVID-19 vaccine

 

As of May 11, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to 12- to 15-year-olds. Please find updated resources below related to the COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccine frequently asked questions

Currently, several vaccines are available for older adolescents and adults that have been shown to be highly effective in preventing COVID-19 disease. We are following the vaccination rollout plans developed by Missouri and Kansas. Vaccine trials are being conducted in children.

The CDC guidelines regarding masking are for the general public – not the health care setting. We must be respectful of people who are not vaccinated and be good role models for patients, families and visitors. We also need to be aware of the increasing infection rates caused by the Delta variant across Missouri and Kansas right now.

At Children’s Mercy, parents and families can remove masks while they are in the room alone with their children. However, they should wear a mask when members of the health care team are present. They also need to wear a mask when leaving the patient room and walking around the hospital.

The use of mRNA is another technology used to create the COVID-19 vaccine. This technology was created more than a decade ago and has been used in other prototype vaccines (e.g., MERS virus), thus it was already known that a vaccine using mRNA technology could produce an immune response. It was also known that it could be quickly mass produced. This is what made it a good option for a COVID-19 vaccine. This vaccine is made up of the gene that codes for the spike protein inside of a lipid nanoparticle layer. Once the spike protein is made in the cell, it goes to the cell surface and triggers an immune response. The viral vector vaccines (e.g., AstraZeneca and J&J) use a modified version of a different virus (e.g., adenovirus) that is unable to replicate, but is able to bring the spike protein gene to the human cell to make the spike protein and induce immunity. Other vaccine technologies include proteins conjugated to a polysaccharide antigen (pneumococcus, Hib), killed virus (polio), toxoid (diphtheria, tetanus), subunit (pertussis), and live virus (MMR).

For any requests regarding the vaccine or storage, please review this process and then email us at: COVIDVaccineStorageHelp@cmh.edu.

Yes! Please complete this form if you are interested and we will connect you with the ideal contact to help set up a time.

The antibodies produced from COVID-19 infection are robust and oftentimes high titer for a period of time. If you have a significant infection versus if you had asymptomatic or mild infection, your antibody titer is generally higher. However, what we know now is that in people who are vaccinated, the types of antibodies differ from those who had infection. We look for something called a neutralizing antibody, an antibody that’s able to neutralize or kill the virus. Antibodies that you make from the vaccine are really good neutralizing antibodies. Antibodies from infection are a mixture; neutralizing antibodies aren't as high as they are if you're vaccinated. We want to be able to fight off COVID-19 infections. The vaccine gives us a better chance of fighting off future infections if a child gets exposed.

Newly released FDA guidance authorizes undiluted, thawed Pfizer vaccine vials to be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month based on recently submitted data. (Previous guidance was five days.)

This isn't new technology. This technology has actually been around for over a decade. It’s been used in cancer treatments, specifically the mRNA technology. It has also been used to create a vaccine for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus. We had animal data on it before we started use in humans. All of this is important for people to understand. In addition, we have found that all the COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized in the United States are safe for people. There has been a lot of press about the vaccine and blood clots. The fact is the risk of developing a blood clot from having the COVID-19 infection is a hundred times higher than it is from having the vaccine. 

The risk of anaphylaxis is between 2-5 per million people vaccinated in the U.S. It is similar to other vaccines and about the same as your risk of getting hit by lightning in a given year, which is about one in a million. For kids we don't have the actual breakdown of that data yet. What we do have is the pharmaceutical companies noting anaphylaxis rates are similar to adults. It is a very low-risk situation that we’re talking about. What has been shown in the literature is that the vast majority of people have an anxiety attack that is mistaken for anaphylaxis.

As far as emergency management of a reaction, anaphylaxis is going to be airway obstruction and EpiPen is ideal to have on site. We recommend at least two EpiPens for any vaccine clinic. If you have significant anaphylaxis and the airway is completely obstructed, you could administer a second EpiPen if necessary. On the standing order from the state of Missouri, it does list your emergency medicines that they recommend to have which are EpiPen and Benadryl. Not everybody has Benadryl. Our vaccine clinics carry oral Benadryl, but not all do. Most vaccine clinics only have an EpiPen. You do not need an AED for anaphylaxis because typically anaphylaxis does not cause you to flip into a shockable rhythm. As long as you have an EpiPen available for any potential anaphylaxis – the airway obstruction for anaphylaxis – you should be prepared.

You cannot charge for the vaccine. However, you can submit to insurance for reimbursement of the administration fee.

Please refer to the CDC information regarding the second vaccine, if not administered within six weeks. 

If they have a mild URI, feel free to give the COVID-19 vaccine, as you would any other childhood vaccine. We would not recommend a child receive the vaccine if they are febrile.

If a patient has an acute COVID-19 infection, they should not get the vaccine until after the isolation period. Once this is finished, then they can receive the vaccine.

If they received monoclonal antibody because they fell into a higher-risk group and they're on the older age spectrum – the adolescent – then the recommendation right now is 90 days. Right now, the CDC is still recommending waiting for that 90-day period if they received monoclonal antibody.

General COVID-19 frequently asked questions

Reference answers to frequently asked questions from physicians and providers. 

Return to school

Experts at Children’s Mercy are working with the community to help keep children safe during the 2021-22 school year as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Read our latest guidance for keeping schools safe for students and staff here.

Return to sport

View recommendations for a safe return to sport and physical activity after COVID-19 here. Other helpful resources include:

COVID-19 testing

Walk-in testing is available for those ages 2 months up to 22 years old at Children's Mercy Broadway and our Urgent Care locations (Children's Mercy Blue Valley, East and Northland), no appointments or orders needed. Results will be processed offsite and will be available within 1-2 days.

If a provider or medical group is listed as the primary care or referring provider in the patient's Children’s Mercy record, they will be able to receive the patient's COVID-19 test results in My Patient Connections

If a patient is not already on the patient portal, they will receive a call from the Urgent Care Follow-Up NurseLine, (816) 960-3000. They can assist patients with a return to work or school note and a printed copy of the COVID-19 test results.

Learn more about COVID-19 testing, including preprocedural testing here.

COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine clinics are available for ages 12 years up to 22 years. The Pfizer vaccine will be administered and a second dose will be needed three weeks later. Walk-in clinics at Children’s Mercy Adele Hall Campus and Children’s Mercy Broadway do not require an appointment. Click here for upcoming vaccine clinics, hours and locations.

Children’s Mercy is following the CDC guidelines for home isolation and return to work criteria which are available here.

For recently updated information on quarantine and isolation, see pages 12-15 of our Guidebook.

Resources

The following resources have been identified for use in practices and with families. 

Children's Mercy resources

COVID testing - parent notification letter templates

Children’s Mercy has developed a letter for parents requesting confirmation of their child’s COVID-19 test results. The letter provides options based on the patient’s testing results and symptomatology. Letters are available in English and Spanish. 

Please consider leveraging these letters in your practice and customizing for your needs: 

Resources in the community during COVID-19

Many families in our community need extra support right now. Children’s Mercy has gathered resources for Kansas and Missouri families who need assistance with food, transportation, and other basics during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Click here to access resources related to the following: 

  • Family toolkit: Social Distancing with a Plan
  • Food resources 
    • Children's Mercy free lunch program
    • Harvesters
    • School district nutrition services 
  • Transportation and lodging 
    • Free rides for essential needs
    • Resources for families with Missouri medicaid coverage
    • Resources for families with Kansas medicaid coverage
  • Mental health support
  • Helpful websites and hotlines

Community provider town hall 

A town hall event was held virtually on May 7, 2021 to provide community providers an update on vaccinating pediatric patients and how to offer a vaccine clinic in your office.

Watch a recording of the event

Related resources: 

Podcasts

The Children’s Mercy Pediatric Ethics Podcast Series

This series features Children's Mercy specialists and other pediatric experts from across the globe covering topics that are changing pediatric ethics.

Recent podcasts include: 

  • Ethics and Communication During a Pandemic 
  • Pandemic Ethics
  • Planning for COVID in Washington State
  • COVID and Child Abuse

Access the series

Transformational Pediatrics series

  • "Pediatric Provider Well-Being and the COVID-19 Pandemic" with Jennifer Bickel, MD, pediatric neurologist and Medical Director of the Children’s Mercy Center for Professional Well-Being. Listen now.

Pediatrics in Practice series

  • "Return to Play in the Pediatric Athlete After COVID-19 Infection" with Daniel Forsha, MD | Ryan Northup, MD | Amol Purandare, MD | Natalie Stork, MD. Listen now.

Special issues of The Link

Other

Websites

Email updates

Receive important updates from our experts!