COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Weekly Updates

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COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Weekly Updates

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Minnesota Department of Health

February 2, 2023


Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) recommends harmonization of vaccine strain composition of COVID-19 primary series and boosters

On Jan. 26, the FDA VRBPAC met to discuss the future vaccination regimens for COVID-19. The committee voted unanimously to recommend harmonizing the vaccine composition of primary series and booster doses in the U.S. to a single composition, most likely the current bivalent vaccine.

Evidence supports the use of the same vaccine strain composition for primary and booster COVID-19 vaccinations. The committee felt that this transition will simplify the COVID-19 vaccination regimen, contribute to easier vaccine deployment, and may improve vaccine coverage.

The need to continually reassess strain composition with consideration for possible fall 2023 COVID-19 vaccine was also discussed. The committee felt that additional data and strategies are needed, especially for younger children and immunocompromised people. VRBPAC will continue this discussion in the spring of 2023. 

Before any changes can be implemented, both FDA authorization and a recommendation from CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) need to be issued. Providers should continue following current COVID-19 vaccine recommendations.

For more details refer to: Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee January 26, 2023, Meeting Announcement.

Preventing COVID-19 vaccine errors

With multiple formulations of COVID-19 vaccine in use and the similarities of labels and cap colors, make sure you differentiate each formulation to prevent administration errors. Consider dot stickers, highlighters, colored rubber bands, separate color bins, etc. to distinguish between each vaccine.

Use the following for a quick view of the Pfizer and Moderna formulations:

All staff who administer vaccines need competency-based education and training prior to administering vaccine. To lessen the chance of an error, ensure that the seven rights of vaccine administration have been performed:

  1. Right patient
  2. Right time
  3. Right vaccine or diluent
  4. Right dosage
  5. Right route, needle length, and technique
  6. Right site
  7. Right documentation

If a vaccine error does occur refer to: CDC: Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines: Appendix D. Vaccine administration errors and deviations.

Monovalent vaccine ordering

Following the VRBPAC meeting, it is possible FDA will take regulatory action to make bivalent vaccine the primary series. To reduce wastage of currently available monovalent vaccine should this change happen, we will aim to fill orders for monovalent vaccine through redistribution as much as possible. We currently have a large amount of monovalent vaccine available throughout the state. We ask that providers:

We may reach out to you to reconcile our records with the inventory you have onsite.

Expiration dates of ancillary supply kit contents

Do not discard the entire ancillary kit based on the expiration date printed on the label. Different COVID-19 vaccine ancillary kit materials DO NOT expire on the same date. The mask and face shield expiration dates are indicated on the ancillary supply kit label. For all other supplies, the expiration date is printed on the individual packaging.

Find COVID-19 vaccine locations update

The Pfizer bivalent booster (6 months – 4 years) and Moderna bivalent booster (6 months – 5 years) have been added to the Find COVID-19 Vaccine tool. Use the provider site intake form to add and modify your vaccination sites when ready to administer the new vaccine formulations. Options will include specific age groups you serve based on your provider type, and differentiation between the primary series and the booster presentation. When choosing the age group your clinic serves, please choose the most inclusive age group option. For example, if your clinics serves children down to 6 months of age, choose only the 6mo-5 option and not 18 mo-5 or 3-5. Updating your site information will help parents and caregivers easily find vaccine for this youngest age group.

Questions on the Find My Vaccine tool can be directed to Anthony Jumelles at

Find previous bulletins at COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Updates.