COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Weekly Updates

Stay Safe MN logo

COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Weekly Updates

View this as a webpage

Minnesota Department of Health

August 5, 2021


Good afternoon,

Here are the COVID-19 vaccine provider updates for July 30 to August 5, 2021.

COVID-19 vaccine mandate questions

MDH is not able to provide any legal advice to facilities inquiring about mandating COVID-19 vaccines in their organization. please consult with your medical director and legal team for any questions pertaining to this subject.

Find more information on mandates from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.

More information about HIPAA concerns can be found at Is it a HIPAA Violation to Ask for Proof of Vaccine Status?

Vaccine names in MIIC

MIIC has been updated with a trade names for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. This follows a move made by CDC to start referring to these vaccines by their trade name for immunization information system (IIS) purposes.

Pfizer, also known as Comirnaty, and Moderna, also known as Spikevax, are authorized in Europe under those names.

Manufacturer name

Trade name

Name in MIIC



Pfizer (Comirnaty)



Moderna (Spikevax)

These are the same vaccines that are approved with Emergency Use Authorization through the FDA.  

People vaccinated outside the United States

If someone received the first dose of an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine in Europe, they could complete the series with the same vaccine in the U.S.

If they started with the AstraZeneca vaccine (e.g., Covishield, Vaxzevria) outside the U.S., but didn’t get both doses, they should receive a complete series of one of the U.S. vaccines.

For more details, refer to the CDC Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Authorized in the United States: People vaccinated outside the United States.

Weekly cadence of COVID-19 vaccine direct ordering in MIIC

Currently, the COVID-19 direct request event opens on a weekly basis on Monday mornings and ends at close of business on Tuesday afternoons every week. Your requests must be placed during that window of time for shipment of the requested doses at the beginning of the following week. Sites will get an email Thursday or Friday after MDH processes their order. Providers can refer to the user guide on special event vaccine request at Vaccine Ordering and Management in MIIC: Requesting special event vaccine for more information on how to check the status of their requests in MIIC.

Janssen vaccine availability

Thank you to everyone who has made their excess Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) inventory available to other providers throughout the state. Together we have redistributed over 22,000 doses of Janssen vaccine since mid-June. Up until now, we have been able to meet the demands for Janssen vaccine; however, as of this week, there is no longer excess inventory available for redistribution. Starting next week, the COVID-19 Vaccine Available for Redistribution Smartsheet  will no longer have Janssen vaccine available to request. We do encourage you to continue to look at your current inventory and report any excess Janssen inventory to the Smartsheet tool as soon as you know you will have excess. We are also looking at options to secure Janssen vaccine from other states. As always, we will update you when Janssen is available again.

Reminder: Extended shelf life

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) authorized an extension of the shelf life for the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) single-shot COVID-19 vaccine from 4.5 months to 6 months.

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.

New training requirement for COVID-19 vaccine providers

We have recently updated our COVID-19 vaccine provider training and consolidated it into one training with CEUs. Vaccination coordinators and back-ups that are listed in the COVID-19 vaccine provider agreement and are still handling and/or administering vaccine are required to take the updated training, which is now available in MDH’s Learning Management System (LMS). Those who completed the initial training should complete the updated training by October 1, 2021. We strongly encourage any staff handling and administering vaccine to also complete this training.

To access the training, go to Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Learning Center and create an account for the LMS, if you do not already have one. Click on the course catalog, scroll down to the “COVID-19 Vaccination Provider Training 2021” and take the training. You will receive a certificate will upon completion of this training, which will meet the requirements of tracking your training. You will also receive 0.5 CEUS.

Webinar on co-administration of COVID-19 and adolescent vaccines

Health care providers and partners, join us on Wednesday, August 18 from  noon – 1 p.m. for a webinar to discuss adolescent catch-up immunization. Dr. Nathan Chomilo, COVID-19 vaccine equity director at MDH, will present data on the pediatric immunization gap to highlight the importance of catching kids up on missed routine immunizations. This webinar will also feature Dr. Andrea Singh from Park Nicollet Clinic, who will talk about the success of co-administration at her clinic. We will also cover ACIP recommendations for co-administration, adolescent vaccine recommendations, and how to address vaccine hesitancy with parents of adolescents.

To join the webinar:

  1. Go to Session Information: Adolescent immunizations
  2. Enter your name and email address.
  3. Enter the session password: catchupteens!
  4. Click "Join Now".
  5. For audio, follow the instructions that appear on your screen. You can listen through your computer or via phone. Do not dial in on a phone unless prompted by your selection within Webex.

To join the session by phone only:

Do not use this information if you are participating via the webinar. Follow the instructions on the screen when you login. Call 1-855-282-6330 and enter access code: 146 921 6422.

COVID-19 QR codes

As more settings require proof of vaccination, MDH is receiving a high volume of requests for certified vaccination records. MDH is not able to provide QR codes, certified letters, or replacement CDC vaccine cards. Find more information at About COVID-19 Vaccine: Getting Vaccinated under “Record of vaccination (e.g., vaccination card)”.

MIIC training resources and user guides

Visit the MIIC User Guidance and Training Resources page for how-to guides and training videos on use of MIIC, including getting started, entering information, and using population-based tools and reports. Contact the MIIC Help Desk if you have additional questions or training needs.

Make sure your “hold” message is updated!

Your clinic phone hold recording may need a refresh. Many clinics’ hold messages still reference the scarcity of COVID-19 vaccines and do not have up to date scheduling information. This is a friendly reminder to update your hold message to say vaccine is available!

Consider implementing COVID-19 prevention strategies

With the spread of the highly transmittable Delta (B.1.617.2) variant in the United States, CDC released a MMWR: Guidance for Implementing COVID-19 Prevention Strategies in the Context of Varying Community Transmission Levels and Vaccination Coverage on July 27. It asks local decision-makers to assess five critical factors to determine the need for layered prevention strategies across a range of settings: level of COVID-19 community transmission, health system capacity, vaccination coverage, capacity for early detection of increases in COVID-19 cases, and populations at risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19.

To increase vaccine coverage, consider implementing or continuing these strategies as discussed in the MMWR:

  • Primary vaccination efforts should be accelerated in counties with low vaccination coverage.
  • Public health practitioners should work with clinicians and community partners to build confidence in the vaccine and ensure equitable access.
  • Organizations should establish supportive policies. Examples include allowing employees to receive vaccines during work hours, taking paid leave to get vaccinated at a community site, and/or offering flexible, nonpunitive sick leave options for employees.

COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States are effective against severe illness and death.

Find previous bulletins at COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Updates.