COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Weekly Updates

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COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Weekly Updates

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Minnesota Department of Health

October 7, 2021


Good afternoon,

Here are the COVID-19 vaccine provider updates for Oct. 1 to Oct. 7, 2021.

Co-administration of flu and COVID-19 vaccines

Don’t miss opportunities to vaccinate for COVID-19 and/or flu! COVID-19 vaccines may be administered without regard to timing of other vaccines. CDC’s Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines supports administering COVID-19 vaccine with other vaccines, including flu, on the same day. This includes COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.

When deciding whether to administer other vaccine(s) with COVID-19 vaccine, vaccination providers should consider whether the patient is behind, or at risk of becoming behind, on recommended vaccines; their risk of the vaccine-preventable disease; and the reactogenicity profile of the vaccines.

Administer COVID-19 vaccines and vaccines that may be more likely to cause a local reaction in different limbs, if possible. For more information, please review best practices for administering multiple injections at CDC Administer the Vaccine(s).

COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine protocol updated

The COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 Vaccine protocol template is updated on the Vaccine Protocols webpage and at COVID-19 Vaccine Providers under "Forms and templates." 

Additional doses versus booster doses

As a reminder to providers, there are two distinct potential uses for an additional dose:

Additional doses after an initial primary vaccine series: This is defined as the administration of an additional vaccine dose (i.e., a third dose) for people with certain immunocompromising conditions, when the initial immune response following a primary series is likely to be insufficient. This additional dose should be given at least 28 days after the second dose of the primary series. An additional dose for immunocompromised people is only authorized for the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Currently, the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine product is not authorized to be administered as an additional dose.

More information, including more specific details about moderate and severe immunocompromising conditions and considerations for vaccination, can be found in the CDC Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines: Considerations for use of an additional mRNA COVID-19 vaccine dose after an initial 2-dose COVID-19 mRNA vaccine series for immunocompromised people.

Booster dose: This is defined as a dose of vaccine administered when the initial sufficient immune response to a primary series is likely to have waned over time. Currently, booster doses are given at least six months after completion of the primary series. Pfizer BioNTech is the only COVID-19 vaccine that is approved for a booster dose for those who received Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as their primary series. Booster doses are not approved for Moderna or Janssen COVID-19 vaccines at this time.

Additional information, including more specific details on the Pfizer booster dose recommendations, are published in the CDC Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines: Considerations for use of a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster dose after completion of a Pfizer-BioNTech primary vaccine series.

The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) is meeting to discuss the administration of Moderna and Janssen booster doses following the completion of the primary series to people 18 years of age and older. They will meet on October 14 and 15.

Verify a person’s eligibility for a Pfizer booster

Vaccinators should check a person’s age eligibility, the correct dose interval (at least six months after the second dose), and that they received Pfizer vaccine as their primary series, before administering a booster dose. This information can be verified by checking the Minnesota Immunization Information Center (MIIC). After giving a booster dose, make sure to update the patient’s vaccine card if they brought it, or give them a new one reflecting all doses of COVID-19 vaccine they have received.

Pfizer booster dose after COVID-19 infection

MDH has been receiving many questions from providers on the timing of a Pfizer-BioNTech booster dose after a prior infection of COVID-19. Wait to vaccinate someone with a known current COVID-19 infection until the person has recovered from the acute illness (if the person had symptoms) and they have met criteria to discontinue isolation. Refer to CDC Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines: COVID-19 vaccination and SARS-CoV-2 infection.

For further questions not answered in the CDC interim clinical considerations, providers can reach out to CDC at (800)-CDC-INFO or request a consult from the CDC's Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) Project.

Pfizer vaccine for children 5-11 years

FDA’s VRBPAC is scheduled to meet on October 26 to discuss Pfizer’s request to amend its Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to allow for the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children 5-11 years of age. MDH is currently working on plans for vaccinating this younger age group. More information will be coming soon.

Very important: Sending complete and up-to-date demographic information

The Docket mobile app is 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. In order to ensure that people have access to their data, please remember to do the following:

  1. 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. This includes first/last name, middle name, phone number, residential address, email address and mother’s maiden name.
    • Note: Please do not send 999-999-9999 or 000-000-0000 as a phone number.
  2. If the client is not receiving health services but requests an update to their demographic information in MIIC, please complete this request. Authorized MIIC users may directly update information. Ensure that at least one person at your organization has access to the MIIC user interface to complete this work. If you need to add a MIIC user, please either contact your organization administrator or contact the MIIC Help Desk.

Resolving data discrepancies and updating the demographic and/or immunization information on patients 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 people recommended to receive a Pfizer dose per week by provider, based on the organization that entered the second dose. The MIIC team is working on developing other reports to help with booster dose planning. We will share more information when they are available. To request the report, please email the MIIC Help Desk. Please use “COVID-19 Booster Dose Planning Report” in the subject line and include your MIIC organization code in the body of your email request.

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine expiration dates

Some existing inventory of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines had September expiration dates or are set expire in October. If those vaccines are still in your freezer, you can now look up your specific lot details to determine your vaccine expiration dates at Moderna: How To Look Up Vial Expiration Date. The FDA is approving Moderna’s requests for extension by lots, instead of approving all expiring vaccine at one time. If the vaccine has already been moved to the fridge, it expires on the original expiration date. The extensions will only apply to vaccine still in the freezer.

Before you dispose of expired Moderna vials, check the expiration date on the Moderna site; they should update expiration dates on vaccines that expired earliest. While we wait for them to complete all the extension updates, mark any expired Moderna vials “DO NOT USE.” We recommend checking Moderna’s website frequently for updates and before moving any vaccine from the freezer to the fridge.

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 bi-monthly 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.

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.

Find previous bulletins at COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Updates.