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Pfizer has revised its policies to allow 100% returns on vials of its updated COVID-19 vaccine for young children beginning Oct. 1, a move the AAP says will benefit pediatricians and families.
The updated vaccines are the first to be sold commercially instead of distributed via the government as they were during the height of the pandemic. The AAP and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been working together to ensure pediatricians can stock the vaccine and all children have access. Improved return policies are an important step.
“Pfizer’s return policies will enable pediatricians to provide the COVID-19 vaccine, making it available to more children,” AAP President Sandy L. Chung, M.D., FAAP, said. “AAP has been advocating for this kind of flexibility in anticipation of the commercialization, and it's gratifying to see a company take steps toward equitable access.”
The three-dose vials authorized for children ages 6 months-4 years can be returned either unopened or partially used at any time, and returns will be processed within 60 days. Credit and refund options for the full invoice price include customer refund by check or wire transfer, credit to the customer’s wholesaler account or credit to a Pfizer direct account.
The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get an updated COVID-19 vaccine. The updated vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are expected to be a better match for circulating variants and address waning of previous doses.
“We are grateful the CDC and Pfizer recognize the implementation challenges that pediatric practices face when it’s impossible to know what the demand will be,” AAP CEO/Executive Vice President Mark Del Monte, J.D., said. “We urge Moderna to adopt a similar policy.”
Under Moderna’s return policy for direct orders, 10% of shipped doses can be returned for a credit to the customer’s account.
CDC Director Mandy K. Cohen, M.D., M.P.H., said Thursday shipping of vaccines for children is ramping up and supplies should be increasing soon. The AAP has released updated resources to help pediatricians administer the vaccines, including a dosing reference guide and information on how to code and be paid for administration and counseling.
The AAP will host a town hall with Dr. Cohen from noon to 1 p.m. CDT Oct. 4. Dr. Cohen will discuss COVID vaccine and nirsevimab recommendations and distribution and participate in a moderated Q&A. The town hall will be open to all AAP members. Please register here.