COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Weekly Updates

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Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Updates

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Minnesota Department of Health

January 14, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Weekly Updates

Good afternoon,

Here are the COVID-19 vaccine provider updates for 1/7-1/14.

Expanding COVID-19 vaccine offerings

Today the Minnesota Department of Health informed hospitals, health care systems, and other vaccination partners that they can offer COVID-19 vaccine doses to broader categories of Minnesotans – including Minnesotans age 65 and older – based on updated guidance from the federal government. Health care providers and other vaccination partners can now use all available first doses as quickly as possible while still ensuring that doses are targeted to those most at need for protection from COVID-19.

Minnesota remains committed to vaccinating remaining health care workers and long-term care residents as soon as possible. There is still work to do to reach everyone in those categories, but having first dose vaccines sitting around unused isn’t helping anyone. More information on the next phases of vaccine rollout will be announced in the coming days.

While more people are now eligible to receive the vaccine, Minnesota is still working with the extremely limited supply of vaccine allocated each week from the federal government. The reality is that we have far more Minnesotans eligible for getting the vaccine than we have doses available from the federal government. Minnesota is ready to move on anything we get immediately, and we are working quickly to create new options for Minnesotans to schedule a vaccine.

News release: Minnesota urges providers to offer doses to broader groups

COVID-19 vaccine second doses

The U.S. Health and Human Services/Operation Warp Speed announced on Tuesday they would be making a shift in their management of the federal supply of COVID-19 vaccine inventory. Second doses will not continue to be reserved for states. We are waiting on further guidance from CDC about what this announcement means for our future allocations and how we should be advising providers to plan for second dose needs. For now, please continue to reserve the doses that have been earmarked as second dose allotments for your upcoming second dose needs. We can’t guarantee that we will be able to supply second doses to you at a future date if you don’t hold back enough doses now. It is important to maintain the appropriate interval between doses for both vaccine products. There will be more guidance as soon as we have more information.

Updated clinical considerations for mRNA COVID-19 vaccines

Find recent changes as of Jan. 6, 2021 to CDC’s Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Authorized in the United States. Many of the updates have been added to our COVID-19 vaccine provider guide (see below).

COVID-19 vaccine provider guide (updated 1/14/21)

The provider guide has been updated and can be found at COVID-19 Vaccine Providers.

Find updates on:

  • COVID-19 vaccine supplies: Changed email address for ancillary supply kit questions.
  • Recommendations for mRNA COVID-19 vaccines:
    • Administration: Added clearer language regarding the four-day grace period.
    • Co-administration with other vaccines: Added special circumstances/examples where co-administration may occur earlier than 14 days depending on the benefit versus risk.
    • People who previously received passive antibody therapy for COVID-19: Provides guidance for people who receive passive antibody therapy and when to vaccinate.  
    • Contraindications: Added CISA email address for providers requesting a patient consultation for a complex COVID-19 safety question.
    • Laboratory testing: Added additional information regarding interpretation of SARS-CoV-2 test results and interpretation of tuberculosis test results (TST and IGRA) in vaccinated people.
  • COVID-19 vaccine reporting requirements/upload file via the user interface: Information about a new spreadsheet template available in MIIC and the latest user guide.

Remaining vaccine in a vial

Since there is no preservative in the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna multi-dose vials, discard the vial when there is not enough vaccine to obtain a complete dose. Do NOT combine residual vaccine from multiple vials to obtain a dose (no pooling).

Do not waste vaccine!

Do not reconstitute vials in advance as to avoid wasting vaccine. Once you have punctured the vial:​

  • All the doses need to be administered within six hours, or they must be discarded​.
    • Make a plan to administer all the doses in the vial​.
    • Consider having a waiting list​.
    • Be aware of people who may be able to come at short notice​ to get vaccinated.
  • If you have doses left in the vial, and no one immediately available to give them to, try your best to give to people in priority groups. But, above all else, do not waste vaccine.


Data entry into MIIC is required by the organization who administers vaccine and maintains a client’s medical records. We have seen several instances where a vaccinator has asked a long-term care facility to enter data for their clients vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine. Data entry should always be done by the vaccinator.

By and large, providers are entering COVID-19 vaccine dose administration data in a timely manner, within 24 hours of administration. This is great news! Please make sure that correct client name, date of birth, and vaccination date are entered. For organizations using the spreadsheet upload option for reporting data, a new spreadsheet is available in MIIC. The guidance for using the spreadsheet can be found at General Immunization Upload Using the Spreadsheet Template (PDF). Please download the spreadsheet from MIIC each time you fill it out.

When an organization administers a vaccine dose, please make sure it is entered into MIIC as an “administered dose” and not a historical dose. Historical means that the dose was given by another organization. The MDH outreach team will continue to contact organizations who are not meeting reporting requirements.

Reporting vaccine wastage in MIIC

Registered COVID-19 providers can report vaccine wastage in MIIC. For now, please follow existing guidance on reporting nonviable MDH vaccine to MIIC that is available at Vaccine Ordering and Management in MIIC. An updated version specific to reporting COVID-19 vaccine will be available soon.

To report wasted vaccine to MIIC, you will need to be set up with a MIIC user role that has ordering privileges. Please contact with questions about getting setup to access this feature in MIIC.

Expired or spoiled COVID-19 vials are not being returned to the manufacturer or McKesson. Dispose vials per recommendations found in the COVID-19 vaccine provider guide.

Be aware of COVID-19 vaccine scams!

We have heard some reports of people posing as members of the National Guard entering health care facilities, stating they are there to pick up vaccine.

MDH, DHS, or the National Guard will not arrive unannounced to pick up COVID-19 vaccine. All our distribution, and if needed, redistribution efforts, will happen in close coordination and communication with our vaccinating entities.

Please be aware and on heightened security. We will provide additional information if we learn more.


New patient education resource

We have developed a fact sheet that explains what happens before, during, and after getting a COVID-19 vaccine, Getting Vaccinated for COVID-19 (PDF). It is posted on our About COVD-19 Vaccine page. We hope that this will be a good supplement to the EUA fact sheet given out with the COVID-19 vaccine. This is not a replacement to the required EUA fact sheet.

Addressing vaccine hesitancy resources


Pfizer trainings

Pfizer will be hosting a series of training sessions to review information and answer questions. Please click on the link below to join the sessions at the designated times. Each training below is the same content. 

 Date & Time 


Attendee link – January 14 – 5 PM ET 


Attendee link – January 15 – 10 AM ET 


Attendee link – January 15 – 5 PM ET 


Questions? Contact

For colleagues and partners who are interested in subscribing to this bulletin, they can do so at COVID-19 Vaccine Providers. Please share this with them!

Find previous bulletins at COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Updates.