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. 17, 2021

Good afternoon,

Here are the COVID-19 vaccine provider updates for Dec. 10 to Dec. 17, 2021.

Clinical Preference Stated for mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines

On Dec. 14, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated the emergency use authorization (EUA) fact sheets for Janssen COVID-19 vaccine to add a contraindication for individuals with a history of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia (TTS) following the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine or any other adenovirus-vectored COVID-19 vaccines. On Dec. 16, 2021, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted unanimously to recommend that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are clinically preferred over the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 for those 18 years of age and older. Individuals who are unable or unwilling to receive an mRNA vaccine will continue to have access to Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Cases of TTS following administration of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine have been reported with the highest rate (approximately 1 case per 100,000 doses administered) in females ages 30-49 years. Although the condition is rare, approximately 15% of TTS cases have been fatal. Health care professionals should be alert to the signs and symptoms of TTS in individuals who receive the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. Vaccination providers should advise all individuals receiving a Johnson & Johnson vaccine should be advised of the risk of TTS.

Given the current state of the pandemic both here and around the world, the ACIP reaffirmed that receiving any vaccine is better than being unvaccinated. Refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) media statement: CDC endorses ACIP’s updated COVID-19 vaccine recommendations.

It is anticipated that the CDC will provide additional information and guidance about this recommendation in the Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Approved or Authorized in the United States in the coming days.

We will not have additional Janssen vaccine to ship until existing inventory in the state decreases. We encourage providers who may have extra Janssen doses in their inventory to make some available for redistribution via our SmartSheet tool: Vaccine Available for Redistribution.

Transition to COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine DO NOT DILUTE (Gray Cap) for 12 years and older

As we transition to the COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine DO NOT DILUTE (gray cap), it is important to become familiar with the vaccine and start planning for its use.

Helpful resources include:

MDH materials including the Provider Guide will be updated in the next week to include the gray cap vaccine. 

Visit COVID-19 Vaccine Providers: Vaccine protocol templates to access the recently added protocol for COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine DO NOT DILUTE (Gray Cap) for persons age 12 years or older.

COVID-19 Quick Reference Guide

The CDC: COVID-19 Quick Reference Guide provides basic information on the proper storage, preparation, administration of COVID-19 vaccine products authorized in the U.S., and additional clinical guidance. It was recently updated to include Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccine ordering for 5- to 11-year-olds

The next ordering event for COVID-19 vaccine for children age 5-11 years (orange cap) will open on Friday, Dec. 17, and close at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 20. We expect orders will be delivered before the end of the year.

Holiday shipping cadence

No vaccine deliveries will occur Thursday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Dec. 27. Normal deliveries will be carried out on Tuesday Dec. 28 and Wednesday Dec. 29. No vaccine deliveries will occur Thursday, Dec. 30 through Monday, Jan 3. Normal deliveries will resume on Tuesday, Jan 4.

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trainings

To help educate your staff about the new gray cap vaccine, 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.