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 25, 2021


Good afternoon,

Here are the COVID-19 vaccine provider updates for 2/19-2/25.

COVID-19 vaccine provider guide updates

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

Data quality appendix

Last week we added Appendix E: MIIC Data Quality and Provider Outreach (PDF) to the provider guide. It has information on common Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) data quality issues, how to address them, and when MDH will reach out to providers.

COVID-19 vaccine protocols updated

COVID-19 Moderna vaccine and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine protocols updated

The following vaccine protocol templates are updated on the Vaccine Protocols webpage and at COVID-19 Vaccine Providers.

  • COVID-19 Moderna mRNA1273 Vaccine
  • COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNtech BNT162b2 Vaccine

Be prepared for anaphylaxis

It is best practice for all people receiving vaccines to be observed for at least 15 minutes after their injection. The recommendation is for anyone with previous anaphylaxis or severe allergies wait for 30 minutes. All people receiving vaccine should be encouraged to wait for 15 or 30 minutes before leaving. While you can’t make anyone wait and be observed, you may be liable if someone were to experience anaphylaxis in their home or car after vaccination and you had not encouraged them to stay.

All sites should have epinephrine and CPR-certified personnel available in the event of anaphylaxis.

Updated ancillary kits for Pfizer six-dose vaccine vials

Now that Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine vials are considered six-dose vials, ancillary kits have been changed to send more supplies to get 1,170 doses out of each shipment. To get six doses out of each vial, you may need to use a mixture of low dead-volume and standard syringes, including some 1.5-inch needles supplied in the kit (e.g., three low dead-volume syringes and three non-low dead-volume syringes). Distribute your supplies carefully to balance out syringes to get six doses from all vials. You may supplement these supplies with your own stock, but the ancillary kits cannot be changed. Contents of the ancillary kits are in the “COVID-19 vaccine supplies” section of the Interim COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Guide (PDF).

See examples of low dead-volume syringes at Wikipedia: Low dead space syringe.

New! Refer to the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Preparation Infographic at CDC: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for “do’s and don’ts” when mixing vaccine and withdrawing six doses of vaccine from the vial.

Do not pool vaccine!

Do not pool vaccine! FDA, CDC, and MDH do not allow combining small amounts of vaccine left over in several vials to make a full dose. COVID-19 vaccine multi-dose vials do not contain a preservative, so combining several vials creates an opportunity for the vaccine to become contaminated.

Submitting race and ethnicity data to MIIC

Race and ethnicity data are very important for knowing who we are vaccinating and to uphold health equity in our pandemic response.

To that end, MDH is now requiring providers to submit available race/ethnicity information into MIIC as part of their regular reporting for all patients who are getting vaccinated. 

As with all our data, we take data privacy very seriously and will only use this information to help us see who is getting vaccinated in Minnesota. These data will also help us identify and address health equity-related gaps in our vaccine distribution plans.

To verify if this information is included in your messages to MIIC, you may need to consult with your IT team or EHR vendor. If you are collecting race/ethnicity data but your system is not currently sending it to us, please reach out to the MIIC help desk ( so that we can help you add this data to your messages without negatively impacting the processing of your messages. If you do not have an electronic interface with MIIC, we are working to update our immunization spreadsheet to include space for race and ethnicity information.

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

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!

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:

Recordings for Webinars #1 and #2 will be posted to MIIC User Guidance and Training Resources soon!

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. and 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.