What’s the news: The AMA has announced an editorial update to the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) code set that includes a new vaccine administration code for a third dose of the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer.
The new CPT code became effective in January for use when Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded its emergency use authorization to include a third primary series dose of Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for certain children 5–11 years old with compromised immune systems.
The AMA welcomed actions by federal agencies to expand use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in a statement and urged full vaccination for newly eligible children and teens.
“Although children 5 and older have been eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine since November 2021, vaccination rates among children and adolescents remain low,” said AMA President Gerald E. Harmon, MD. “We strongly urge all parents to get their children fully vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.”
Why it’s important: The development of CPT codes that clinically distinguished each coronavirus vaccine and dosing schedule allows for data-driven tracking, reporting and analysis that supports planning and allocation during the public health response to the pandemic. COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Moderna, Novavax and Pfizer have previously been issued unique CPT codes.
To help ensure accurate coding and reporting of COVID-19 vaccines and immunization services, the AMA offers a vaccine code finder resource to help identify the appropriate CPT code combination for the type and dose of COVID-19 vaccine provided to each patient.
For quick reference, the new vaccine administration code assigned to the third dose of Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine is:
0073A—Immunization administration by intramuscular injection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) vaccine, mRNA-LNP, spike protein, preservative free, 10 mcg/0.2 mL dosage, diluent reconstituted, tris-sucrose formulation; third dose
Short, medium and long descriptors for all the new vaccine-specific CPT codes can be accessed on the AMA website, along with other recent modifications to the CPT code set that have helped streamline the public health response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the COVID-19 disease.
Discover how the CPT code set has evolved amid the pandemic and pay challenges and is “not your Grandma’s CPT.”
Learn more: Changes to the CPT code set are considered through an open editorial process managed by the CPT Editorial Panel that collects broad input from the health care community and beyond to ensure CPT content reflects the coding demands of digital health, precision medicine, augmented intelligence, and other aspects of a modern health care system.
This rigorous editorial process keeps the CPT code set current with contemporary medical science and technology so it can fulfill its vital role as the trusted language of medicine today and the code to its future.