COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Weekly Updates

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COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Weekly Updates

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Minnesota Department of Health

January 7, 2022


On Jan. 7, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Refer to FDA: Coronovirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Shortens Interval for Booster Dose of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine to Five Months.

This issue of the bulletin reflects changes adopted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We will send additional information on the above amendment as it becomes available.


CDC updates recommendations for the use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

Booster doses recommended for people age 12 through 15 years

On Jan. 3, the FDA amended EUA for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include the use of a single booster dose to include people 12 through 15 years of age.

On Jan. 5, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) met and recommended to expand eligibility of booster doses to people age 12 through 15 years. CDC also strengthened their recommendation that adolescents ages 12 through 17 years should receive a booster shot 5 months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series.

With this updated CDC recommendation, all persons age 12 years and older are now eligible to get a COVID-19 booster dose. When to give a booster dose and at what age is dependent on the vaccine that was administered for the primary series:

  • Pfizer recipients age 12 and older should get a booster at least 5 months after completion of the primary series (includes additional 3rd primary dose, when indicated).
  • Moderna recipients age 18 and older should get a booster at least 6 months after completion of the primary series (includes additional 3rd primary dose, when indicated).
  • Johnson & Johnson recipients age 18 and older should get a Pfizer or Moderna booster at least 2 months after the primary dose.

A booster dose for children younger than 12 years is not recommended at this time. Refer to CDC’s media statement at CDC Expands Booster Shot Eligibility and Strengthens Recommendations for 12-17 Year Olds.

Single booster dose interval shortened for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

CDC updated their recommendation for a single booster dose at 5 months after the completion of the primary series for those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, shortening the interval from 6 months to 5 months. The booster interval recommendation for adults who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (2 months) or the Moderna vaccine (6 months; refer to note at the top of the bulletin), has not changed. 

Additional primary dose recommended for moderately to severely immunocompromised children

Additionally, CDC is recommending that moderately or severely immunocompromised children age 5 through 11 years receive an additional primary dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine 28 days after their second shot. This is consistent with their prior recommendation for people 12 and older.

Additional information on all of these recommendations will be updated in the CDC: Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines in the near future.

Most importantly, do not miss any opportunity to vaccinate people who need the primary series. Vaccination and getting a booster when eligible, along with other preventive measures like masking and avoiding large crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, remain our most effective methods for fighting COVID-19.

MDH Interim COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Guide, Template: COVID-19 Screening and Agreement, and the vaccine protocol templates have all been updated to reflect the current CDC and ACIP recommendations. Find them at COVID-19 Vaccine Providers.


Updated booster forecaster in MIIC

In accordance with the booster recommendation change, the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) now forecasts a booster dose for clients age 12 years and older who have received two doses of the Comirnaty/Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. While the forecaster currently recommends a booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine six months after the date of the second dose, this will be updated in the future to align with ACIP recommendations. If you have any questions regarding the forecaster in MIIC, please contact the MIIC Help Desk at


Pfizer vaccine shelf-life extension

FDA recently extended the shelf-life for the Pfizer Pediatric vaccine (Orange Cap, 5-11 YO, diluent required) and for Adult/Adolescent Tris (Gray Cap, age 12+, no diluent).

The date printed on the Pfizer Pediatric Orange Cap and Adult/Adolescent Gray Cap vaccine vials indicate the manufacture date and NOT the expiration date. Originally, the expiration date was six months from the manufacture date. The expiration date for Pfizer Orange Cap and Gray Cap vaccine has now been extended to nine months while held at ultra low temperature (ULT). The updated expiry dates for both the Orange Cap and Gray Cap vials based on nine months from the date of manufacture are provided below.

Printed Manufacturing Date 9-Month Expiry Date*
06/2021 Feb. 28, 2022
07/2021 Mar. 31, 2022
08/2021 Apr. 30, 2022
09/2021 May 31, 2022
10/2021 Jun. 30, 2022
11/2021 July. 31, 2022
12/2021 Aug. 31, 2022
01/2022 Sept. 30, 2022
02/2022 Oct. 31, 2022

*Date of expiration always falls on the last day of the month


COVID-19 vaccine ordering update

Sites can now request COVID-19 vaccine doses for children age 5 through 11 years (Pfizer Pediatric Orange Cap) at any time in MIIC, similar to the way that vaccine is ordered for all products currently. Shipments will arrive within three to five business days of placing your requests, pending inclement weather.

MDH therapeutics webpage updated to include outpatient antivirals

On Dec. 22, 2021, the FDA issued an EUA for Paxlovid (PAX) from Pfizer, and on Dec. 23, 2021, the FDA also issued an EUA for molnupiravir (MOV) from Merck.

Refer to Therapeutic Options for COVID-19 Patients and Interim Ethical Framework for Allocation of Outpatient Antivirals during the COVID-19 Pandemic for further details.


CDC webinar on COVID-19 storage and handling

CDC’s Immunization Education & Training is hosting an on-demand webinar for storage and handling of COVID-19 vaccines. Topics include how to determine the expiration date and beyond-use date (BUD) or beyond-use time; identify when to use the expiration date and when to use the BUD; and identifying comprehensive vaccine storage and preparation resources for clinical staff.

Access this webinar at CDC Vaccine Webinars: Storing and Handling Vaccines: Expiration Date, Beyond-Use Date, and Beyond-Use Time.

Find previous bulletins at COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Updates.