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 14, 2021


Good afternoon,

Here are the COVID-19 vaccine provider updates for Oct. 8 to Oct. 14, 2021.

VRBPAC and ACIP meetings on Moderna and Janssen boosters

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) has meetings scheduled to discuss an amendment to both the Moderna and Janssen’s (Johnson & Johnson) emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for the administration of a booster dose in people 18 years of age and older. Moderna boosters will be discussed on October 14 and Janssen boosters on October 15. Additionally, data related to mixed vaccines for booster doses will be presented by the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on October 15. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) plans to meet on October 20 and 21 to discuss booster dose recommendations if authorized by the FDA.

Both FDA authorization and a recommendation from ACIP need to occur before Moderna and Janssen booster doses can be administered. MDH will update current documents to reflect any booster dose recommendations.

We encourage you to continue your current focus of getting everyone fully vaccinated with their primary series. This focus has the greatest impact on reducing the spread of COVID-19 and its more severe outcomes. Nearly all the cases of severe disease, hospitalization, and death continue to occur among the unvaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States continue to be remarkably effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the Delta variant.

COVID-19 vaccine for 5-11-year-olds and upcoming webinar

We are anticipating the authorization of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine down to age 5 in the coming weeks. The FDA VRBPAC is scheduled to meet October 26 to discuss this. ACIP is scheduled to vote on the topic November 2-3, pending FDA authorization. If your system or clinic is using Moderna vaccine, this is the time to consider adding Pfizer to your inventory so you can vaccinate kids from 5-17 years old.

Details on the vaccine

The vaccine for this age group is packaged differently than the current adult/adolescent vaccine (for people down to age 12 years) because younger-aged children will be receiving a smaller dose. It will not be acceptable to make a pediatric dose from the adult/adolescent vaccine.

The 5-11 year old pediatric vial will have an orange label and an orange cap and will have different storage and handling requirements than the adult/adolescent vaccine currently in the field. The product can be kept in the ultra-low cold freezer for up to six months and in the refrigerator for up to 10 weeks. This product CANNOT be stored in the regular freezer. The pediatric vaccine will come in 100 dose packages (10 multi-dose vials without preservative with 10 doses per vial).

Pre-book and requesting vaccine

COVID-19 vaccine providers will be able to pre-book vaccine from October 18 through 25 in anticipation of shipment in the coming weeks. Please place a request for vaccine using the “Request Special Event Vaccine” functionality in the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) during this time period to cover your needs for the first week of the campaign. Refer to our Special Event Vaccine Request (PDF) user guide for instructions on how to use this functionality.

After the pre-book for the initial week of the campaign, the window to request additional vaccine will re-open each week. Do not request more vaccine than you can use during a one- to two-week time period to avoid stockpiling. Pfizer expects shipping timelines to remain the same. Please plan for your vaccine and ancillary kits to arrive within three to five business days of placing your request in MIIC.

Order Pfizer adult/adolescent vaccine now

To support increased logistics needed to push out large number of pediatric doses during the first week, no orders for Pfizer adult/adolescent vaccine shipments (1170 product configuration) will be distributed during the pediatric product launch. This will be temporary and last for the first few days (exact dates to be determined based on timing of FDA authorization). Please consider ordering Pfizer adult vaccine to cover your needs for the next 2 to 3 weeks to account for this pause.

Upcoming webinar

MDH will be hosting a live webinar on Thursday, October 28 from noon – 1 p.m. on specifics for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5-11 years. Click here to join the Microsoft Teams Live Event.

Educating parents on Pfizer vaccine for children 5-11 years

We want to raise awareness about the expected authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11 among parents and caregivers. Keeping parents up to speed on when and why their child should get vaccinated is critically important to keeping children safe and slowing the spread of COVID-19. Please help us share information about the safety of the vaccine and why it is important for children to get vaccinated once the vaccine is available.

We have several resources on our website that may help you:

Additionally, here are some social media messages that you can use to share information:

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine medical updates

Pfizer Vaccines U.S. Medical Affairs will be hosting “Medical Updates” for its COVID-19 vaccine.  

Session topics may include: 

  • FDA indication & authorizations
  • CDC/ACIP recommendations
  • Packaging/presentation updates
  • Storage, handling, & administration
  • Q&A

Each session will be unique and will reflect any new information or changes that emerge. Please click on the links below to join the sessions at the designated times.

Date and time


October 19 at 5 p.m. ET: WebEx Event Information: Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Training and Education


 October 21 at noon ET: WebEx Event Information: Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Training and Education


Moderna COVID-19 vaccine expiration dates

Seventy-eight lots of Moderna vaccine just received a shelf-life extension from FDA. Please check the Moderna expiration date lookup site at Moderna: How To Look Up Vial Expiration Date before disposing of presumably expired Moderna vaccine to see if your product is included in this set of lots. You can also confirm all expiration dates using the QR code on the Moderna vial. The extensions will only apply to vaccine still in the freezer. If the vaccine has already been moved to the fridge, it expires on the original expiration date.

Please refer to Moderna’s website for more information. If the website does not reflect these changes yet, Moderna has said it should be up to date soon.

If you are still awaiting an expiration extension of your lot, mark any expired Moderna vials “DO NOT USE.”

Updated MIIC forecaster for Pfizer booster doses

The MIIC forecaster now recommends COVID-19 vaccine booster doses for people ages 65 and older who have completed the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine series. The recommended date will be six months after the date of the second shot. Once a booster dose has been entered into MIIC for a client, the forecaster will display a “Complete” message and the series will list “3 of 2” for the immunization, as it is not a repeating booster. A reminder that MIIC does not forecast vaccines for clients in special high-risk populations; however, it will validate booster doses given to clients 18-64. For questions related to the MIIC vaccine forecaster, please email the MIIC Help Desk.

Switching organizations in MIIC

Vaccine administration data must be reported under the location where the vaccine was administered. If your organization has multiple facilities, immunizations must be reported under the correct location. The pale-yellow banner at the top of your user interface in MIIC will display which location you are operating on behalf of. If this banner does not display the correct location, you must use the "Switch Organizations" function and select the correct location before doing anything else in MIIC. If you do not have access to the switch organizations function in MIIC, your user account may not be set up properly. Learn more about Using the Switch Organizations Function in MIIC (PDF). If you have questions about your MIIC user account, contact your organization’s MIIC Administrator or the MIIC Help Desk.

Using lists in MIIC for vaccination planning, coverage rates, and reminder/recall

Providers can use the list feature in MIIC to track immunization histories and immunizations due for selected groups of patients. Instead of looking up each client record one-by-one, the list feature provides a real-time snapshot for groups of your patients. It can also be used with the client follow up and assessment report in MIIC to see overdue/recommended vaccination status or COVID-19 vaccination rates across specific lists of patients. Learn more about this feature at Using Lists in MIIC.

Find previous bulletins at COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Updates.