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 17, 2021


Good afternoon,

Here are the COVID-19 vaccine provider updates for June 11 to June 17, 2021.

Promote COVID-19 vaccine among adolescents

In May, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech (Pfizer) vaccine to be given to adolescents 12-15 years of age, and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended this vaccine for use in the teen population. In addition, Moderna has submitted an application to have their emergency use authorization (EUA) expanded to include adolescents. Approval is expected in July, in time for back-to-school vaccination.

Getting as many eligible Minnesotans vaccinated as possible remains a key goal to help stop the spread of COVID-19. We have added some sample talking points on the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination for adolescents on at Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccination. In addition to the talking points, this web page contains other important information for providers who are vaccinating people age 12-17 years.

Learn more about the unique needs and preferences of adolescents and their families, along with effective strategies in promoting COVID-19 vaccine, in the recorded webinar from Health Resources & Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB): Zoom: Strategies to Promote COVID-19 Vaccine among Adolescents and their Families.

In addition, you can read the recent interview with MCHB associate administrator Dr. Michael D. Warren, on the importance of getting catch-up vaccines and well-child visits as soon as possible: WTOP News: CDC: ‘Serious public health threat’ possible if kids don’t make up missed vaccinations.

Many Minnesota adolescents have fallen behind on their routinely recommended vaccinations. Now is the time to get them caught up, in addition to vaccinating for COVID-19, before sending them back-to-school this fall. You can administer all vaccines an adolescent needs, including COVID-19 vaccine, on the same day.

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

Janssen COVID-19 vaccine updates

Janssen vaccine on backorder

Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccines are currently on backorder at the federal level. However, there is a large amount of Janssen vaccine currently in provider offices that could be redistributed. Sites can continue to request Janssen vaccine doses in MIIC, and MDH will help facilitate redistribution of doses from another registered COVID-19 provider as supply allows.

Extended shelf life

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized an extension of the shelf life for the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) single-shot COVID-19 vaccine from 3 months to 4.5 months.

Providers with Janssen vaccine doses in inventory that have not expired can use their vaccine 45 days beyond the previous expiration dates. Vaccine providers should visit Expiry Checker: Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine Under Emergency Use Authorization to confirm the latest expiration dates of vaccine. If the lot number you enter displays the original expiration date, you will want to keep checking as information is still in the process of updating.

More information about the extended shelf life of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is available on the Janssen website: Johnson & Johnson Statement on FDA Approval of Shelf Life Extension for Company’s COVID-19 Vaccine.

Best practices for expiring vaccine

All three COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson) 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, fill out the Smartsheet form linked in the next article 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.

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.

COVID-19 vaccination upon discharge

Hospitals, emergency departments, and urgent care facilities are encouraged to administer COVID-19 vaccine to patients at discharge. Promoting access through these types of facilities can help reach disproportionately-affected communities since they may serve as primary health care access points.

Consider using these best practices:

Assess vaccination status

  • Assess vaccination status at triage, in the patient’s medical history, and during medication reconciliation by asking patients, checking electronic medical/health records, and linking with Minnesota’s immunization information system (IIS), the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC).

Offer vaccination and address hesitancy

  • Offer vaccination to all hospitalized patients, considering postpartum discharges and patients being discharged to long-term care or rehabilitation facilities.
  • Strongly encourage and offer vaccination to all eligible patients and any friends or family who are accompanying them.
  • Address vaccine hesitancy with all patients and those that accompany them as part of routine practice. Patient education materials can be found at About COVID-19 Vaccine.
  • Encourage patients to enroll in V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker.

Integrate vaccination into your workflow

  • Consider using a pharmacist assigned to the facility to help with medication management to support confirming vaccination status before vaccination.
  • Utilize personnel not involved in the direct care of the patient, if available, to administer vaccines if the department is very busy and it would help workflow.
  • Offer vaccination services either at the bedside or in special vaccination areas during the discharge process.


  • Document receipt and/or refusal in the chart and MIIC.
  • Complete and provide a COVID-19 vaccination record card to the patient and print out a list of the vaccination(s) given, particularly for patients being transferred/discharged to rehab, long-term care, or psychiatric facilities.

After vaccination

  • Arrange for the second dose appointment, if applicable.
  • Place patients in the waiting area for the 15-minute observation period after vaccination to improve flow and reduce crowding.

Request COVID-19 vaccine

Registered COVID-19 providers are now able to directly request COVID-19 vaccines in the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC). A user guide on how to request special event vaccine in MIIC is available at MIIC User Guidance and Training Resources under "Vaccine Ordering and Management”.

Register to be a COVID-19 vaccine provider

If you haven’t yet, register to be a COVID-19 vaccine provider. Go to COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Registration to learn more.

Thanks to those facilities that are already vaccinating patients before discharge!

COVID-19 vaccination cards on websites

Remember not to post any printer-friendly copies of the CDC COVID-19 vaccination record cards on public websites to help prevent fraudulent use of the cards.  

The CDC COVID-19 vaccination record cards remain property of the U.S. government until provided to the vaccine recipient following vaccination. Vaccine providers should keep their unused CDC COVID-19 vaccination record cards in a secure location to avoid misuse.

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 previous bulletins at COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Updates.