COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Weekly Updates

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COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Weekly Updates

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Minnesota Department of Health

Dec. 10, 2021


Good morning,

Here are the COVID-19 vaccine provider updates for Dec. 3 to Dec. 10, 2021. This issue is dedicated to information pertaining to the transition to the new Pfizer product (gray cap), we recommend saving this as a reference.

Transition to Pfizer gray cap (DO NOT DILUTE) vaccine for 12 years and older

We are reaching the end of the supply of the current Pfizer adult/adolescent vaccine in the purple cap vials that was part of the first contract with the federal government. Pfizer is transitioning to their new gray cap vaccine for people 12 years and older. CDC and Pfizer are labeling these as gray cap (DO NOT DILUTE) and purple cap (DILUTE BEFORE USE). We anticipate that the new gray cap Pfizer product will be available for providers to begin to order on Dec. 23 with a minimum order of 300 doses per shipment.

This vaccine is the same formulation as the purple cap vaccine except for one of the inactive ingredients (buffer). The new buffer is commonly used in many of our routine immunizations. The gray cap vaccine will not need to be reconstituted with diluent. The multi-dose preservative free vials will still contain 6 doses of 0.3 mL. The storage and handling specifications for this product are different than the purple cap vaccine currently in use. The gray cap vaccine can be stored in the ultra-low temperature freezer until expiration or in the refrigerator for up to 10 weeks. It will be shipped in the smaller thermal shippers now being used for the orange cap (5-11-year-old vaccine). These new shippers cannot be used for storage and can be discarded after use. The digital data loggers need to be returned.

Providers should:

Ordering transition

As part of the transition, CDC is monitoring all inventory in the state to ensure that a large proportion of it has been used prior to shipping the gray cap. Please report wastage to MIIC at least weekly and continue to submit transfer forms when vaccine is redistributed to ensure we have the most accurate on-hand inventory. The vaccine distribution team may reach out to providers that appear to have large inventories of purple cap vaccine to inquire about vaccination plans.

Until the transition, purple cap vaccine is available to order.

Entering Pfizer gray cap immunizations into MIIC

Providers can enter Pfizer gray cap immunizations through the MIIC user interface by selecting “Comirnaty-PFR t-s 30 mcg” from the dropdown list. Relevant vaccine codes for electronic data exchange can be found at MIIC Codes for Data Submission and Exchange.  Entering the correct product and vaccine code is very important for reporting and inventory purposes. Please contact the MIIC helpdesk with questions at

Pfizer expiration dates

Some providers have received purple cap Pfizer vaccine that had a printed expiration date of 11/21/2021. The expiration date on this vaccine was extended. Please use the CDC code set to look up the accurate expiration date at COVID-19 Vaccine Lot Number and Expiration Dates.

You can also refer to the updated Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers Administering Pfizer Vaccine for 12 years of age and older, purple cap for more information on the extension of expiration dates.

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trainings

Pfizer U.S. Medical Affairs is hosting daily medical updates for its COVID-19 vaccines during this transition time.

Training topics for both orange and gray cap vaccines include FDA indication and authorization, CDC/ACIP recommendations, packaging/presentation, storage and handling, and a question-and-answer session.

Each session will be unique and will reflect any new information or changes that emerge. Providers are encouraged to complete the training now for planning, and again closer to the time of transition for all staff involved in vaccine administration and handling. To access current and future training sessions, please visit Pfizer: Medical Updates & Immunization Site Training for All Healthcare Providers led by Pfizer Vaccines US Medical Affairs.


Find previous bulletins at COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Updates.