COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Weekly Updates

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COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Weekly Updates

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Minnesota Department of Health

June 10, 2021

Good afternoon,

Here are the COVID-19 vaccine provider updates for June 4 to June 10, 2021.

MDH seeking vaccination success stories

We want to hear from you! The health department is seeking success stories from vaccinators around the state to help share best practices, innovations, and triumphs. We have created a survey with questions to help you tell your experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. By sharing what went right and how you made that happen, we can all learn to improve our practice. The survey is available online at If you have questions or concerns, feel free to email

Vaccine storage temperature reminders for summer clinics

Before you start your summer vaccination clinics, make sure you are following all guidance for maintaining COVID-19 vaccines at the proper temperatures!

NOTE: For outdoor clinics, temperatures could exceed 25 degrees Celsius/77 degrees Fahrenheit during the clinic day. Planning considerations should include measures to ensure both unpunctured and punctured vials/pre-drawn syringes are not exposed to temperatures above 25 degrees Celsius/77 degrees. You may need additional containers that are qualified to maintain the appropriate temperatures (i.e., portable electric coolers) for both preparation and administration stations. Use this document for quick information on each vaccine: CDC: COVID-19 Vaccine: Quick Reference Guide for Healthcare Professionals (PDF).

  • Pfizer-BioNTech
    • After the vaccine vial has been punctured or withdrawn into a syringe, the vial should be held between 2 to 25 degrees Celsius (36 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit). Vials should be discarded 6 hours after the first puncture. During storage, minimize exposure to room light, and avoid exposure to direct sunlight and ultraviolet light. Do not refreeze once thawed.
  • Moderna
    • After the first dose has been withdrawn, the vial or pre-drawn syringe should be held between 2 to 25 degrees Celsius (36 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit). Vials should be discarded 12 hours after the first puncture. Thawed vials can be handled in room light conditions. Do not refreeze once thawed.
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
    • After the first dose has been withdrawn, hold the vial or pre-drawn syringe between 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit) for up to 6 hours or at room temperature (maximally 25 degrees Celsius /77 degrees Fahrenheit) for up to 2 hours. Discard the vial if vaccine is not used within these times.

Vaccine wastage

As we continue to take every opportunity to vaccinate, it is anticipated that there will be more vaccine wastage. You must report wastage to MIIC. There are no consequences or punishment for reporting wasted vaccine. Reporting wastage is necessary to keep track of inventory and supply.

Wastage that should be reported:

  • Vials that expired before you could use them. Either by the manufacturer’s expiration or beyond-use date in the fridge.
  • Doses that remained in the vial and not used before the time limit.
  • Fewer doses drawn up than the maximum doses per vial. For example: If you can only get 5 doses from a Pfizer vial, report one dose as wasted.

For instructions in reporting wasted (nonviable) COVID-19 vaccine in MIIC, please review Reporting Nonviable COVID-19 Vaccine to MIIC (PDF). You are allowed to report weekly and for several sites at one time.

New tool to report excess COVID-19 vaccine inventory

A new online tool is available for registered COVID-19 providers to help prevent vaccine waste and facilitate redistribution. Providers with excess inventory of COVID-19 vaccine doses that would better serve the community if they were redistributed to other sites should fill out the Smartsheet: COVID-19 Vaccine Available Form. MDH immunization program staff will follow-up with the site if we are able to facilitate redistribution.

Expired vaccine

All three COVID-19 vaccines have some lot numbers that expired in late May and some that will expire in June. For a full list of lot numbers, go to CDC Home Page Vaccine Lot Number and Expiration Date.

  • Make sure you are checking expiration dates before administering vaccine.
  • If you have vaccine that you do not think you will be able to use before it expires, especially the Janssen vaccine, fill out the Smartsheet form above for help in identifying partners who may be able to use doses.
  • First in, first out: Use the oldest vaccine first when managing your inventory.
  • Take any expired vaccine out of the unit and dispose of it properly; it cannot be returned and leaving it in the refrigerator risks someone giving an expired dose.

Storage and handling labels

As a reminder, there are storage and handling labels available on the CDC website to put on the container holding the vaccine vials. The labels assist with logging and monitoring expiration dates. The labels are located at: 

Increase in Medicare payment for home administration of COVID-19 vaccine

Medicare updated payment rates for COVID-19 vaccine administration, including an additional payment for vaccine administered in the home. Find more information at Medicare COVID-19 Vaccine Shot Payment.

Training on MIIC Single Vaccine Assessment Report for COVID-19

The Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) will be conducting a webinar on the Single Vaccine Assessment Report for COVID-19 in MIIC. Organizations are invited to join the staff from the Minnesota Department of Health’s MIIC unit to review the process of pulling aggregate COVID-19 vaccination rate data from MIIC on a population of interest. Organizations will have the opportunity to ask questions and see real-time navigation through the MIIC system.

The webinar will be held on the Microsoft Teams Live platform on Wednesday, June 30 from noon to 1 p.m. Click here to join the Microsoft Teams Live Event.

Please find the updated user guidance for this report at Childhood Immunization Assessment (PDF).

Vaccination cards

It is important that patients have full documentation that they received both doses of vaccine for a two-dose series on one record card. If the person does not have their original card, please give them a new card, and fill out the first dose for them as well. We encourage you to do this when you verify their first dose in MIIC or in your electronic medical record rather than send them to the MIIC record request line to gather the information on their first dose.

MDH cannot provide a replacement CDC vaccine card. Consider posting this new flyer at your vaccination clinics for patients: Lost Your Vaccine Card? (PDF). Find more information at About COVID-19 Vaccine: Getting Vaccinated under “Record of vaccination (e.g., vaccination card).”

Find previous bulletins at COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Updates.