COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Weekly Updates

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COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Weekly Updates

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Minnesota Department of Health

September 24, 2021


Good afternoon,

Here are the COVID-19 vaccine provider updates for Sept. 17 to Sept. 24, 2021.

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster doses

Please read our earlier communication on the interim recommendations for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster doses at COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Updates.

Verify patient COVID-19 immunization data

Prior to administering a dose of COVID-19 vaccine, please review the patient’s immunization history. The primary source of COVID-19 vaccine administration data should be the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC). If the data for a patient is not in MIIC, other acceptable sources include:

  1. Their CDC vaccination card.
  2. An official document from the organization who administered the dose with day, month, year, and product of vaccination.
  3. Electronic documentation from a MyChart app (or similar) that includes day, month, year, and product of vaccination.
  4. A patient’s U.S. Department of State's Vaccination Documentation form DS-3025 that includes a patient’s verified past immunizations.

Verbal presentations of data are not acceptable. Please enter immunization data from these acceptable sources into a patient’s record in your EHR or directly into MIIC.

Remember that in addition to Minnesota data, MIIC regularly receives data for Minnesota residents for doses administered in Iowa, Wisconsin, and North Dakota. A patient may not yet be in MIIC because they have recently moved to Minnesota or do not have any recent immunizations administered in Minnesota. If a patient is found in MIIC, their associated immunization data still may not be in MIIC for several reasons, including: they received an immunization in another state/country that does not regularly send data to MIIC, the provider who administered the dose didn’t enter it into their systems or MIIC, the data was entered by the provider into their systems but has not yet been sent to MIIC, the patient has opted out of MIIC, or the patient has locked their record to another provider.

For more information, review MIIC  user guidance for looking up a client in MIIC at Client Search and Printing Immunization Records (PDF) and entering immunization data at Adding Immunizations Not Using Inventory.

Very important: Updating client demographic information in MIIC

The Docket mobile app is now available in Minnesota for Minnesotans to access their MIIC immunization records. Docket requires up-to-date demographic data for a person to access their records. Learn more about Docket at Find My Immunization Record.

Each time a client receives services at your organization, please confirm/update all of their demographic information and ensure that it is sent to MIIC. If the client is not receiving health services, but requests an update to their demographic information in MIIC, please do so. This can be done either directly in MIIC by authorized MIIC users, or if your organization participates in electronic data exchange with MIIC, you can send a demographic-only update message. Consult with your organization’s technical team to learn how to do this.

Note: Please do not send 999-999-9999 or 000-000-0000 as a phone number.

Ensure that at least one person at your organization has access to the MIIC user interface to complete this work. Resolving data discrepancies and updating the demographic and/or immunization information on people as needed is a requirement of the Data Use Agreement all organizations sign in order to participate in MIIC. 

COVID-19 booster dose planning report

MIIC has created an internal report to help providers plan for COVID-19 booster dose administration. This report will provide the number of Pfizer doses recommended per week by provider, based on the organization that entered the second dose. The list can be generated at both the individual provider and health system level. Providers will be able to request this report and we will send the data in an Excel workbook to assist with booster dose planning. To request the report, please email the MIIC Help Desk.

Printing a client record

Even though clients now have the option to access their immunization records through Docket, many people will still need support with a printed or emailed record. Providers can print client immunization records using their EHR or MIIC to provide to patients upon request. Both clinic records and MIIC records are proof of vaccination. MDH is currently receiving an enormous amount of MIIC record requests as people are being asked to show proof of vaccine at their place of employment or to engage in various activities. Access the user guidance for this MIIC functionality at Client Search and Printing Immunization Records (PDF). If you have any questions, please reach out the MIIC Help Desk.

Check Janssen COVID-19 vaccine expiration dates

Some existing inventory of Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccines expire in September. Please look up your specific lot details to determine your vaccine expiration dates at Expiry Checker: Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.

End of federal fiscal year ordering pause Sept. 30 and Oct. 1

We will not be able to process vaccine orders submitted to MIIC after 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 30 for the rest of the week due to the end of the federal fiscal year. Ordering will resume the morning of Monday, Oct. 4.

COVID-19 vaccine distribution updates

Minnesota is now operating under federal weekly vaccine thresholds that do not allow for stockpiling of doses and aim to minimize vaccine wastage. Supply of COVID-19 vaccines continues to be enough to meet the needs of everyone who needs a primary series and a booster. Going forward, we will be monitoring current inventory and recent throughput before approving orders to avoid stockpiling of inventory.

Before placing any requests for COVID-19 vaccines in MIIC:

  • Be mindful of your site’s existing inventory and vaccination throughput; only order what you need.
  • Place smaller orders with greater frequency. We recommend ordering vaccine biweekly for sites with high throughput and monthly or bimonthly for smaller sites when inventory is below a one-week supply.
  • We may reach out to you before approving MIIC vaccine requests if your site is requesting more doses than we'd expect.

Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is available

Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine is available to order again in MIIC. Janssen COVID-19 vaccines shipping now have expiration dates in November and December of 2021.

We anticipate longer expiration dates of six months once existing inventory is used up.

Request COVID-19 vaccine in MIIC

COVID-19-registered providers may request vaccine in MIIC. Refer to our user guide when ordering COVID-19 vaccine in MIIC: Special Event Vaccine Request (PDF). This guide includes important notes along with step-by-step instructions for how to request COVID-19 doses and review orders.

Smartsheet tool

Use our Smartsheet tool, COVID-19 Vaccine Available for Redistribution, to report excess inventory or request doses via redistribution. This is also a good option if you are interested in receiving doses in increments less than the minimum order amount.

COVID-19 vaccine shipping cadence

Providers can expect COVID-19 vaccine and ancillary kit deliveries within the following timelines:

  • Moderna and Janssen COVID-19 vaccine and ancillary kits arrive within 2-3 business days of placing orders in MIIC.
  • Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and ancillary kits arrive within 3-5 business days of placing orders in MIIC.

Ancillary kit deficiency reporting

Vaccine providers are encouraged to report any issues with ancillary kit equipment they receive. To ensure enough information is gathered, follow these steps for reporting so problem trends in packaging and shipping can be identified.

  • Contact McKesson directly, who responds to problems and identifies trends for kits (e.g., missing supplies, etc.).
  • If an error or injury occurs during vaccine administration, enter the information into Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) at Report an Adverse Event to VAERS.  
  • For defective or faulty medical equipment (e.g., syringes or needles) complete the FDA Form 3500 at MedWatch Online Voluntary Reporting Form

Be prepared to provide photos, lot number, order number, date ordered, and dates received when filing a report for a deficient ancillary kit. 

COVID-19 vaccine quick reference guide for health care professionals

CDC has a quick reference guide that provides basic information on the proper storage, preparation, and administration of all three COVID-19 vaccines. It is an easy-to-read, side-by-side format that compares requirements for all three vaccines. You can find this recently updated document at COVID-19 Vaccine: Quick Reference Guide for Healthcare Professionals (PDF).

Find previous bulletins at COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Updates.