OVMA has reinforced veterinarians' status as "essential"
OVMA E-Bulletin
Jan. 4, 2021
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Covid-19 Crisis

vaccine

Veterinarians and the Vaccine


With the COVID vaccine distribution and administration underway, there have been a number of inquiries regarding when and how veterinarians might be eligible to receive it. As we have previously shared, veterinarians are identified in the CDC guidelines as "essential workers," with a grouping now identified by the CDC as 1B and 1C. The OVMA has reinforced your importance in food safety and public health in correspondence with Gov. DeWine’s office.

While we have indications that the State of Ohio will likely follow much of the CDC framework, there will be some variations, such as identifying individuals 65 years of age and older and teachers for the next round of vaccinations in Ohio.

It remains unknown how the essential worker pool, including veterinarians, will be prioritized after that round. Available vaccine quantities and distribution rates will of course impact the timing as well.

At present, there are no means to sign up, reserve, or otherwise take action to place yourself “in line” for when veterinarian healthcare teams will be eligible for the vaccine. There is also no information at this point explaining how individuals will be asked to verify their status to receive the vaccine.

We have been told it will likely be two to four weeks at minimum before more definitive information on subsequent phases will be made available. As soon as we have more information, we will notify all members via e-bulletin and on the OVMA Coronavirus Resources page.

Member News

Annual business meeting set for Feb. 19


OVMA will hold its annual membership business meeting in concert with the virtual MVC. The event will occur via Zoom on Friday, Feb., 19 at 9 a.m. The meeting is free and open to all members; you need not be registered for the MVC to participate.

The meeting will be password protected, so please RSVP if you plan to attend.

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Volunteers needed for accreditation site visit


The AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) will be conducting two accreditation site visits at Ohio veterinary technology programs in 2021. The visits are anticipated be held virtually via Zoom.

The first visit will be in April to Ross College in North Canton; the second in September to UC Blue Ash College in Cincinnati.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact OVMA Executive Director Jack Advent for more information.

Legal & Regulatory

statehouse

Significant legislation passes Ohio General Assembly prior to adjournment


Key bills OVMA has been was watching and engaging on passed the Ohio legislature in December, as the final days on the General Assembly session wound down.

Of most significance were two proposals supported by the OVMA: House Bill 67 (Loan Repayment Assistance) and House Bill 33 (Animal Cruelty Reporting). Both are currently awaiting Gov. DeWine’s signature and will take effect 90 days thereafter.

Also passed last month was House Bill 24, which includes provisions to update certain aspects of animal shelter euthanasia protocol and addresses legal concerns with Ohio’s animal fighting and cruelty statutes. It has already been signed by the Ggovernor and will take effect March 29, 2021.

Summaries of these bills will be posted in the Members Only Center later this week, and more in-depth coverage will be shared in the next OVMA Observer.

MVC

Virtual CE: Does it count?


Last year, the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board temporarily modified the continuing education rule to allow for all CE hours to be earned via online formats. Virtual sessions can be used for credit whether viewed at the time of presentation (live), or at a later time if the presenting organization offers access to a recorded option (on demand).

The change applies to both veterinarians and technicians in their current renewal cycle. For technicians, renewals are due no later than March 1, 2021; for veterinarians, March 1, 2022.

The 2021 Virtual MVC will offer 180 different sessions, presented live from Feb. 16 to 20, 2021 with speaker Q & A each afternoon. Additionally, all sessions will be available for on-demand viewing for 60 days following the conclusion of the live event. All MVC sessions you attend virtually—whether you view them when first presented or at a later date and time—may be used for CE credit in Ohio.

For more information and to view the program, please visit the MVC website. Registration is open now through Feb. 10.

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Animal Health

deer

CWD identified in Ohio wild deer


In mid-December, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) identified a positive test for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a wild white-tailed deer harvested in Wyandot County. The Ohio Division of Wildlife has enacted enhanced surveillance within a 10-mile radius of the positive sample.

Although the disease has previously been detected at captive deer breeding facilities in Ohio, this is the first positive case of CWD detected in the state's wild deer population since routine testing began in 2002.

Learn More ❯❯

dog food

FDA: 28 deaths, 8 illnesses linked to contaminated pet food


The FDA is warning veterinarians to be on the lookout for symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning after 28 dogs died and eight became ill from consuming certain Sportmix pet foods.

Multiple product samples tested by the Missouri Department of Agriculture found very high levels of aflatoxin. As a result, Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc., has recalled nine affected cat and dog foods, which were distributed via online and brick-and-mortar retailers nationwide.

The FDA is asking veterinarians who suspect aflatoxin poisoning in their patients to report the cases through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling their local FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators.

The investigation is ongoing, and the FDA warns that case counts and the scope of the recall may expand as new information becomes available.

More Information ❯❯

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