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 28, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Weekly Updates

Good afternoon,

Here are the COVID-19 vaccine provider updates for 1/22-1/28.

First and second dose clarification

We want to clarify information on first and second COVID-19 vaccine doses. This is particularly important as we are working to make sure COVID-19 vaccine doses are administered efficiently.

  • You do not have to save first doses to be used for second doses.
  • The federal government is providing second doses one-for-one in separate orders and shipments.
  • Do not use doses allocated for second doses for first doses in an attempt to “use doses quickly.”
  • Second doses are being accounted for in the timeliness algorithms. Second doses do not count against a system or provider if they are administered at the correct time interval.

Updated clinical considerations for mRNA COVID-19 vaccines

Find recent changes as of Jan. 21, 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. Interim clinical consideration highlights include:

  • Updated recommendations on intervals between the first and second dose.
  • Updated recommendations on interchangeability of vaccine products.
  • Updated language on vaccination of people with a history of COVID-19 infection.
  • New vaccination recommendations in people with a history of dermal fillers.
  • Additional resources on vaccine excipients in Appendix B.

COVID-19 vaccine provider guide (updated 1/28/21)

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

Checklist for off-site/mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinics

Check out Appendix D: Vaccination clinics at satellite, temporary, or off-site locations (PDF) for an updated checklist for COVID-19 vaccine clinics.

COVID-19 vaccine protocols and screening and agreement template

The COVID-19 vaccine protocols and screening template were updated last week. We are working on updating these materials to reflect the updated clinical guidance as of Jan. 21. Check back at COVID-19 Vaccine Providers for the most recent versions.

Reminder: Report vaccine errors

All vaccine errors need to be reported to Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). This includes wrong dose given, incorrect dilution of Pfizer vaccine, Moderna vaccine given to 16- or 17-year-olds, wrong route, etc. The CDC has also asked that you report syringe and needle failures (defective equipment) that comes in the ancillary kits to VAERS as well.

Shipping containers

For Pfizer shipping containers, you need to turn off the data logger when you receive the vaccine. If you are using the shipper for temporary storage, call Controlant to reactivate the data logger to use in the shipper. If you are not using the shipper for storage, transfer the vaccine to your ultra-cold storage unit.

Return the Pfizer and McKesson shipping containers when you are done with them. There should be return shipping labels with the container, often on the opposite flap of the box.

Find more information in the Interim COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Guide (PDF).

Vaccine coordinators

The vaccine coordinator, at every enrolled provider site, is responsible for making sure that staff handling and administering vaccine are properly trained on storage, handling, and administration of the vaccine. The coordinator can host an internal training and/or require all staff to complete the MDH On-Demand Trainings for Registered COVID-19 Vaccine Providers ( Staff new to vaccinating may need additional hands-on training. Providers are also responsible for reading the Interim COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Guide (PDF) and knowing what to do when vaccine temperatures are out-of-range.

Please update your vaccine coordinator information if it has changed from when you first registered as a COVID-19 vaccine provider. Contact if you need to update your contact information.

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!

Once you have punctured the vial:​

  • All the doses need to be administered within 6 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.
  • If you waste vaccine you will need to account for the doses by reporting them in MIIC. See reporting vaccine wastage in MIIC below. Sites that waste significant amounts of vaccine will need to submit a corrective action report on how they will prevent this in the future. More guidance on corrective action reports will be coming soon.

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, check back at COVID-19 Vaccine Providers in the next few days.

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 set up to access this feature in MIIC.

Please disregard any email you may get about shipping labels, or expired or spoiled COVID-19 vials. COVID-19 vaccine doses are not being returned to the manufacturer or McKesson. Dispose of vials per recommendations found in the COVID-19 vaccine provider guide.


Webinar series

MIIC will be conducting a webinar series during the month of February including content on logging into MIIC, entering new clients, editing vaccines doses, spreadsheet upload, assessment reports, and client follow up. More details regarding this series to come.

Data entry

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.

Please make sure that correct client name, date of birth, and vaccination date are entered. When entering immunization information into the spreadsheet, please also include either the CPT or CVX code with the vaccination date.

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.

COVID-19 vaccine office hours with MDH

We are going to be hosting office hours for health care providers. The office hours will happen twice a week on Tuesdays at 12:30 p.m. and Fridays at 8 a.m. and last for 30 minutes. The first one will be starting next week Tuesday (Feb. 2) at 12:30 p.m.

This is a space for you to come and ask questions of the vaccine clinical experts at MDH. Feel free to drop in at any point during the half hour time slot.

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.