COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Weekly Updates

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COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Weekly Updates

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Minnesota Department of Health

February 18, 2021


Good afternoon,

Here are the COVID-19 vaccine provider updates for 2/12-2/18.

COVID-19 vaccine provider guide updates

The provider guide has been updated at COVID-19 Vaccine Providers:

  • Updated quarantine guidance for vaccinated people (page 20).
  • Appendix A: Updates regarding six doses in Pfizer’s multi-dose vial (page. 1).
  • Appendix D: Clarifies who should be the primary organizers for any off-site clinics. Updated resources and minor text updates throughout.
  • New Appendix E: Information on common Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) data quality issues and when MDH will reach out to providers.

New guidance on transporting COVID-19 vaccine

CDC Vaccinating Homebound Persons with COVID-19 Vaccine has recommendations for transporting COVID-19 vaccines to smaller groups or homebound people, and addresses transporting open vials and/or syringes:

  • A punctured vial may be transported from one home (or site) to another by the same health care professional if the cold chain is properly maintained. However, a partially used vial cannot be transferred from one provider to another or across state lines.
  • CDC recommends transporting vaccine in vials. However, there may be instances when the only option is to transport vaccine in a pre-drawn syringe. United States Pharmacopeia includes guidance in the COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Toolkit for transporting pre-drawn vaccine in syringes.
  • MDH has created a new document on pre-drawing syringes, Preparing COVID-19 Vaccines for Administration (PDF).
  • Reminder: Because these vaccines have no preservatives, once the vial is punctured it must be used within six hours. Any remaining vaccine, either in open vials or syringes, must be discarded.

Continuous temperature monitoring devices

COVID-19 vaccine providers are strongly encouraged to use a continuous temperature monitoring device (e.g., data logger or continuous temperature monitoring system). These devices can provide information about when the temperature goes out of range and for how long, and what those temperatures were. This information may make a difference in determining if vaccine is still viable.

Refer to MDH’s new COVID-19 Vaccine Temperature Monitoring Devices (PDF) for more information on features and device options.

MDH COVID-19 Screening and Agreement template is now available in Spanish

We plan to translate the template into more languages as well.

COVID-19 vaccine shipping delays

Due to inclement weather across the country, COVID-19 vaccine shipment delays continue. We are communicating with the affected providers about their shipments and any information we have.

Pfizer vaccine vials are now six-dose vials

Effective Feb. 16, 2021, Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine vials are considered six-dose vials. This means that the minimum order quantity will change from 975 doses per box to 1170 doses per box. Vials ordered for your organization after Feb. 16 should be counted as six-dose vials.

This will affect reporting wastage and redistributed doses. If you cannot get the sixth dose out of a vial, it should be reported as wastage. When filling out redistribution forms, doses should be in increments of six. How this change will be reflected on the COVID-19 vaccine data dashboard is still under discussion.

Vaccine expiration dates

There are some vials of vaccine that expire in February or March. Make sure you pay attention to expiration dates. You may want to rescan the QR code of the Moderna vaccine to see if there have been any updates to the expiration.

Cold weather and patient appointments

Many people, especially seniors, are very excited to get their COVID-19 vaccine and may arrive very early for their appointments. Consider contacting your patients to encourage them to show up closer to their appointment times and/or finding a safe space indoors for them to wait.

Make sure you are entering high-quality data!

A reminder to all vaccinators to enter complete and accurate information for all clients receiving COVID-19 vaccine. Correct client full name, date of birth, client address (where client lives, not where they are vaccinated), vaccination date, and vaccine product are crucial to quality data and reporting. The MIIC data quality team will continue to reach out to providers and work with them to correct data issues. Thank you for your attention to these data.

Please be sure that an accurate date of administration is entered for a COVID-19 vaccination, especially historical entries. We are finding a growing number of examples in MIIC where a person has three or more doses of COVID-19 reported when they received only two doses.

Please ensure that your organization is sending COVID-19 vaccine administration data to MIIC within 24 hours of dose administration. The MIIC outreach team will continue to reach out to organizations that are not meeting this data entry requirement.

MAGIC COVID-19 Vaccine Facts video

The Minnesota Association for Geriatrics Inspired Clinicians (MAGIC) created a video in response to low vaccination rates among frontline caregivers to address hesitations and misinformation related to the COVID-19 vaccine: MAGIC COVID Vaccine Facts (YouTube). The goal is to increase vaccination rates, specifically among frontline health care workers, by providing meaningful information from a trusted source that allows them to make an educated decision. Please share the video widely!

Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine training

Janssen has applied for Emergency Use Authorization of their one-dose COVID-19 vaccine from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We will host a training on the new vaccine on Wednesday, March 3 from noon – 1 p.m. Click here to join the Microsoft Teams Live Event.

MIIC menu item for viewing history of COVID-19 vaccine orders

Providers can view a history of their COVID-19 vaccine orders in MIIC. Click on “manage special vaccine events” under “vaccine management.” Enter your provider pin number to view the history of COVID-19 doses shipped to your site.

If you do not have access to this feature in MIIC, please reach out to

MIIC webinars

The Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) is conducting a four-part webinar series. Organizations will have the opportunity to ask questions and see real-time navigation through the MIIC system at each webinar.

The webinar series is held on the Microsoft Teams Live platform on the following dates:

COVID-19 vaccine office hours with MDH

We are hosting office hours for health care providers. The office hours happen twice a week, on Tuesdays at 12:30 p.m., and Fridays at 8 a.m. They last for 30 minutes.

This is time 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.

Tuesdays at 12:30 p.m.: Click here to join the Teams meeting. Join on your computer or mobile app.

Fridays at 8:00 a.m.: Click here to join the Teams meeting. Join on your computer or mobile app.

Find previous bulletins at COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Updates.