KHF Breaking News

Advisories and Breaking News

Kids Health First is closely monitoring COVID-19 updates from the leading authorities across the globe, including:

  • World Health Organization
  • Centers for Disease Control
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Board of Pediatrics
  • Georgia Department of Public Health
  • Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and
  • Other leading authorities.

Please check back often for new developments and community advisories as they become available.

Recent News Updates:

CDC updates masking guidelines-On January 14, 2022 the CDC updated its guidelines on masks for all individuals. Click here for more information.

CDC clarifies recommendations for isolation and quarantine-On January 9, 2022 the CDC clarified its recommendations on isolation and quarantine for those exposed to or positive for COVID-19. Click here for those updated guidelines. 

CDC expands booster shot eligibility for 12-17 year olds-On January 5, 2022 the CDC endorsed the ACIP recommendation to expand eliegility of booster doses to 12-17 year olds five months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series. Click here for more information.

FDA authorizes first booster for COVID-19 for 12-15 yr. olds-On January 3, 2022, the FDA authorized use of a booster of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12-15. The CDC will review this recommendation later this week. Click here for more information.

CNN reports 16- and 17-year-olds are now eligible for a Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine booster-On December 9, 2021 CNN reported that the US Food and Drug Administration authorized the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for use as a booster in people ages 16 and 17, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended it for this age group. Click here for more information.

Omicron Variant Spreads in the US-As of December 7,2021 the new variant has now been detected in 19 states. States that have detected the variant range from Hawaii to Texas to Massachusetts. The reports are part of a new surge in COVID-19 cases in the U.S. that now tops 100,000 cases per day. Click here for more information from NPR.

CDC: Booster Vaccines-On November 29, 2021 the CDC announced that everyone over the age of 18 should receive a COVID-19 booster vaccine. Click here for more information.

CDC: What you need to know about variants-On November 27, 2021, the CDC explains what you need to know about variants, including the newly identified Omicron variant. As of this date, no known cases of the Omicron variant have been discovered in the U.S. Stay tuned for developing news.  Click here for more information.

AAP: Is it safe for families to travel now?-On November 23, 2021 the AAP prescribed specific steps to take while traveling during this holiday season. Click here for more information.

CDC: Interim Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People- On November 19, 2021 the CDC released an updated version of their Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.  Click here to view the updated recommendations.

CDC: The Center for Disease Control advises vaccines for children ages 5-11-On November 2, 2021CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that children 5 to 11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine.  Click here for more information.

Pfizer: COVID-19 vaccine produces significant immune response in children ages 5-11 years- On September 20, 2021 Pfizer and BioNTech announced on Monday that their COVID-19 vaccine is safe in children ages 5-11 years and produces a significant immune response. “We are encouraged by Pfizer-BioNTech’s announcement and look forward to reviewing the data from the clinical trial,” said AAP President Lee Savio Beers, M.D., FAAP.  Click here for more information.

American Academy of Pediatrics Cautions Against Off-label Use of COVID-19 Vaccines in Children Under 12- On August 23,2021 the FDA finalized the full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for ages 16 and older. While questions may now arise about the administration of the vaccine off-label for children aged 11 and younger, who currently have no available vaccine, the AAP strongly discourages that practice.  Click here for more information. 

FDA Approves First COVID-19 Vaccine- On August 23, 2021 the  FDA approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee), for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. Click here to read the full press release.

10.28.20Ransomware Activity Targeting the Healthcare and Public Health Sector

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers.

CISA, FBI, and HHS have released AA20-302A Ransomware Activity Targeting the Healthcare and Public Health Sector that details both the threat and practices that healthcare organizations should continuously engage in to help manage the risk posed by ransomware and other cyber threats. The advisory references the joint CISA MS-ISAC Ransomware Guide that provides a ransomware response checklist that can serve as a ransomware-specific addendum to organization cyber incident response plans.

In addition to these materials regarding the most recent ransomware threat to the Healthcare and Public Health Sector, the HHS Office for Civil Rights’ Fact Sheet: Ransomware and HIPAA provides further information for entities regulated by the HIPAA Rules.

CISA, FBI, and HHS are sharing this information in order to provide a warning to healthcare providers to ensure that they take timely and reasonable precautions to protect their networks from these threats. CISA encourages users and administrators to review CISA’s Ransomware webpage for additional information.

HHS Revises Definition of “Lost Revenue,” Clarifies Definition of “Reporting Entity,” and Expands Phase III Eligibility

On October 22, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued revised instructions regarding permitted uses of Provider Relief Fund (PRF) payments. The legislation creating the PRF restricts its use to “healthcare-related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to coronavirus” and requires recipients to report on their use of funds. Read our detailed explanation of the HHS revisions here.

10.21.20- CDC Update COVID-19 Guidance

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated its guidance regarding COVID-19 testing (namely, a recommendation that asymptomatic persons should get tested) and the many considerations employers should make when reopening buildings after they’ve been closed or reduced in operations.

New Report: U.S. Schools Have Avoided Spike in COVID-19 Cases

Reuters recently reported Friday, Oct. 2, that U.S. schools from kindergarten to high school have avoided a spike in COVID-19 cases, noting reassuring data that shows you can open schools safely when you put in place the right measures and have control of community spread. Medical experts say the real test is coming as students in large densely-populated cities such as New York and Miami return to classrooms.

GA AAP – 9.30.20

  • Update on CPT Code 87426 – The Chapter learned last week that the Georgia Department of Community Health (Medicaid) is reimbursing CPT code 87426 at a “default rate” of $15 until CMS sets a rate for this code. Once the rate has been set, Georgia Medicaid will have all Fee for Service claims reprocessed at the higher rate.
  • Flu Vaccine Bidirectional Borrowing – Georgia VFC has announced they will allow borrowing between VFC and private flu vaccine stocks for the 2020-2021 flu season.  Please refer to the recently released guidance here.
  • AAP Updates Guidance on Returning to Sports Activities –  On September 17th, the AAP updated its guidance for children and teens who participate in sports activities, clarifying the recommended amount of time athletes should be held out of practices and games if they or close contacts show symptoms or test + for COVID-19.

CDC Issues Updated Guidance regarding COVID-19 testing – 9/18/20

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated its guidance regarding COVID-19 testing (namely, a recommendation that asymptomatic persons should get tested) and the many considerations employers should make when reopening buildings after they’ve been closed or reduced in operations.


Georgia Health News reports a growing number of parents are increasingly uncomfortable with taking their children to the doctor. Given that Georgia is a COVID-19 hot spot and now has more than 260,000 confirmed cases, some parents feel the risk is too great. This post features comments from Dr. Keyana Washington- a KHF physician with Gwinnett Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and ,Dr. Sally Goza- President of the AAP.

Health Inequity in the Hispanic/Latinx Population During the COVID-19 Pandemic– 9/2/20

Georgia AAP Partners with DPH to Promote Well Child Care– 8/12/20 The Georgia Chapter has partnered with the Georgia Department of Public Health on a social media campaign to promote the need for children to go to their pediatricians for well child care.

Updated Guidance for Discontinuing Isolation and Testing After COVID-19 Recovery

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated guidance related to discontinuing isolation and testing after recovery. This guidance has implications for patients returning to you for care and for individuals returning to work or school.

For more information, refer to the Georgia Department of Public Health memo dated Wednesday, July 29, 2020.

The Georgia AAP Releases The Pediatrician’s Toolkit for School Re-Entry and Children’s Health in the Time of COVID-19– June 2020

The Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) School Health Committee has developed a toolkit that can serve as a template for how the pediatrician can become involved in school re-openings.

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