Alaska Immune News

ISSUE NUMBER 19 • FALL 2019                                    

Immune News

Alaska Immunization Program

Reminder: New VFC Billing Requirement goes into effect January 1, 2020

VFC providers are being reminded that CDC’s new billing requirement must be implemented in their practices/clinics effective January 1, 2020.  To ensure your facility is in compliance at the start of the new year, refer appropriate staff to the “New Requirement from CDC” alert on the VFC program’s website

If you have questions regarding the new requirement, request “VFC staff” at 269-8088 (Anchorage) or 888-430-4321, or email to ensure you receive accurate information and remain in compliance with billing requirements.

Vaccine Shipments During the Holiday Season

Vaccine shipments in November and December could experience delays due to:

  • Heavier holiday workload for FedEx, UPS and USPS
  • Merck and McKesson’s limited holiday shipping schedules
  • Weather delays

Monitor your inventory closely and plan your vaccine orders carefully. Do not wait until you are out or almost out of vaccine before placing an order.  Maintain inventory levels  between 6 weeks and 3 months worth on hand at all times. 

Submit orders by November 27th for the best chance to receive a vaccine shipment in December.  Orders submitted in December may not be shipped until January.

Single Antigen Polio and Hepatitis B – New VFC Policy

VFC providers will no longer be required to routinely order single antigen polio or hepatitis B vaccine if they can meet their patients’ needs using combination vaccines only. 

Should providers find a need for single dose polio and hepatitis B vaccine, they have the option to:

  • order single antigen polio and hepatitis B vaccines
  • refer patients to another VFC provider who has the needed antigen
  • transfer vaccine from another VFC provider


To prevent wasting polio and hepatitis B vaccine in your current inventory, please continue to use viable doses until your stock is depleted. 

Questions regarding this new policy?  Request “VFC staff” at 269-8088 (Anchorage) or 888-430-4321 or email to ensure you receive appropriate policy guidance.

For clinical questions, request an RN by calling 269-8088 (Anchorage) or 888-430-4321 or emailing



Forecast Update

Throughout 2020, the Forecaster in VacTrAK will gradually adopt the Clinical Decision Support for Immunization (CDSi) logic. CDSi is aligned with the current ACIP recommendations and is the national standard for immunization forecasting.

You may have already seen the change for DTaP forecasting. Per CDSi guidance, DTaP dose 4 will be recommended at 15 months of age with a minimum age of 12 months.

Starting January 1, 2020, the following Forecast updates will be implemented in VacTrAK:

  • 4 day grace period: Vaccine doses administered up to 4 days before the minimum interval or age can be counted as valid. Doses administered 5 days or earlier than the minimum interval or age should not be counted as valid doses and should be repeated as age appropriate. Please refer to the General Recommendations on Immunization in the Pink Book for more information.
  • Meningococcal B Forecasting: The first dose of Meningococcal B will be forecasted in VacTrAK. As a reminder, MenB vaccine may be administered based on individual clinical decision to adolescents not at increased risk age 16–23 years (preferred age 16–18 years).
  • Removing Maximum Patient Age: Currently, VacTrAK has a maximum patient age set to 19 years for Polio, Hep B, MMR, Varicella, Hep A, and Meningococcal. Once the maximum age is removed, adults will be forecasted for all age appropriate ACIP recommended vaccines.

Influenza 2019-20 Update

All influenza presentations are currently available for order in VacTrAK. 

  • Sanofi Fluzone multi-dose vial, 5mL, quadrivalent, >6 months
  • GSK Fluarix pre-filled syringe, 5mL, quadrivalent, >6 months
  • AstraZeneca FluMist nasal spray, 2mL, quadrivalent, 2-49 years*
  • Sanofi Fluzone High-Dose pre-filled syringe, 5mL, trivalent, >65 years

*Due to recent additional allocations, state-supplied FluMist can now be administered to adult and pediatric patients. 

VacTrAK & Historical Immunization Information

One of the most important VacTrAK functions is to consolidate a person’s immunization history from multiple sources.  This occurs when providers not only enter vaccines they currently administer, but also historical immunization information for their patients.

Entering such information in VacTrAK provides ease and efficiency in obtaining a complete immunization history and in determining patient needs. It assists our healthcare family when considering community level needs, and is critical information should we face a vaccine preventable disease outbreak.  

Providers, please ensure your patients’ immunization information in VacTrAK is complete by not only entering vaccines you administer, but also those administered to them in the past.  The next time they need an immunization record—it will be appreciated.  

AVAP Opt-in for 2020

AVAP opt-in for uninsured adults will be available in December.  A survey will be emailed to Vaccine Coordinators, Back-up Vaccine Coordinators and Certifying Providers.

Recertification to receive state-supplied vaccine beginning of 2020. 

Privately Purchased Vaccine

Wasted or expired private vaccine is to be medically disposed of at your facility or returned directly to the manufacturer if applicable.  Do not send private vaccine to the Alaska Immunization Program.

When entering private influenza vaccine into your VacTrAK inventory, refer to our 2019-20 Influenza Vaccine Choices guide to choose the appropriate VacTrAK vaccine name description.

Upcoming Events

HPV Cancer Free AK

We invite healthcare providers to participate in Alaska’s HPV Vaccination Week, April 18 – 25, 2020. HPV Cancer Free AK is a statewide campaign to increase the HPV vaccination rates, led by the Alaska Cancer Partnership and brought to life by volunteers, parents, providers, health care organization, and community leaders who share the same goal:  Protecting Alaska’s Kids from HPV-related Cancers. The goal is to have at least one campaign partner in each region of Alaska and increase the number of HPV vaccinations by at least 5% by April 2020.

By participating, your organization can help improve Alaska’s HPV vaccination rates, improve health outcomes, and ultimately help save lives.

Become a Campaign partner.  Check out the Campaign Toolkit.

To learn more about the Campaign, visit




Ask Izzy

Dear Izzy,

Will the adult formulary change for 2020?


Dear SM,

The Alaska Immunization Program will be expanding the Vaccine Formulary available for adults starting in 2020. The following vaccines have been added: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, MMR, and PCV13.  More information will be emailed and posted on the website in the near future.


Dear Izzy,

I noticed that the HPV VIS has been updated. Are there other VISs that have been updated?


Dear MK,

VISs for Zoster/Shingles, PCV13, PPSV23, IPV, HPV, Hib, Rotavirus, cholera, and typhoid have been updated. While the CDC encourages providers to begin using these immediately, stocks of the previous editions may be used until exhausted.


Dear Izzy,

Is there a way to get free educational materials for our facility?



Dear MP,

The Alaska Immunization Program has free education materials available that can be mailed to your facility.

Contact Alaska Immunization Program for more details at 907-269-8088 or email them at