Updates: COVID-19 Vaccine Program

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Immunization Program

Vaccinator Enrollment

Last week, DHS finished processing enrollments for most Phase 1A hospitals and clinics, as well as Tribes. This week, DHS is focused on local health departments and federally qualified health centers, as well as EMS. Once enrolled, vaccinators will receive an email, which contains the vaccinators’ Pandemic PIN, a provider readiness checklist, training reminders, a survey to attest to completing required trainings, and other important details. Sites may begin vaccinating only after receiving this communication and completing all steps in the checklist.


On Monday, 12/28, a survey went out to eligible vaccinators gathering information about doses needed for the week of January 4th. Please only respond to this survey this week if you can vaccinate phase 1a providers and can administer vaccine in a facility where resuscitation measures are available in accordance with the EUA. Also, you should complete this survey only if your location is ready to receive vaccine for the week of January 4th. Readiness includes having the ability to receive the vaccine at a pre-determined time, store the vaccine per the requirements of the manufacturer, and administer the vaccine within the manufacturer’s specific timeline.

This survey will be emailed to enrolled vaccinators every Monday and will need to be completed between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. every Tuesday. 

These surveys will allow our team to understand the volume of vaccine that can be put to use over a 5-day period for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, or a 7-day period for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Please note that all allocation requests must be for the initial dose only (you do not need to make allocation requests for the second doses – those will be sent to you automatically).

Allocation emails will be emailed between Friday and Sunday. If allocated doses, your organization will be emailed the specific number of doses allocated. An organization may not receive an allocation if we do not have enough to subdivide amongst eligible vaccinators, however, we will make every effort to fulfill partial orders. Please note we are not able to meet requests outside of the Tuesday 5 p.m. deadline. 

Vaccinating Phase 1A Prioritized Populations

Vaccinators enrolled in the COVID-19 Program agree to prioritize vaccination according to national ACIP (please note ACIP's updated interim guidance for allocation) and the state's SDMAC guidance. According to the SDMAC guidance, the current groups prioritized for vaccination include:

Frontline healthcare providers (HCP) in hospitals, nursing homes, home care who i) work where transmission is high or ii) are at increased risk of transmitting to patients at high risk of severe morbidity and mortality. The HCP category includes clinicians; environmental services; nursing assistants; staff in assisted living, long term care and group care; and home caregivers if meet 1a risk criteria.

Vaccinating entities may include one or more of the following prioritization criteria when allocating vaccine among health care personnel:

HCPs on designated COVID-19 units may be prioritized over HCPs who are working on nonCOVID-19 units: COVID-19 units are serving individuals who are the most severely ill as a direct result of the pandemic. Illness and/or absence on the part of the HCP serving these patients would represent a significant negative impact for both individual vaccinating entities and the overall ability of the health care system to respond to this crisis.

Known patient COVID-19 status: While asymptotic spread is a significant challenge for all health care personnel, prioritization may be considered for individuals who are caring for known COVID-19 patients and those testing patients to determine COVID-19 status (for example, testing staff).

Please see the full SDMAC recommendations for additional criteria for consideration in prioritization of vaccine amongst phase 1A eligible individuals within an organization/entity.

Expiration Dates and COVID-19 vaccines

The expiration date should be checked prior to preparing or administering vaccine. Expired vaccine or diluent should NEVER be used. As additional stability data become available, the expiration dates for some products may change.

For EUA COVID-19 vaccines that do not have a final expiration date, CDC has set up an expiration date of 12/31/2069 to serve as a placeholder. Such vaccines have a dynamic expiration date, which can change over time as additional stability data become available. This placeholder date, which is far in the future, is intended to serve as a prompt for the provider to check the latest expiry information on the manufacturer’s website.  

ModernaCOVID-19 vaccine: To determine the expiration date, providers can scan the QR code located on the vial or carton or access the manufacturer’s website directly, enter the lot number and the expiration date will be displayed. CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccine Expiration Date Tracking Tool can help providers keep track of the expiration date by lot number.

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine: This vaccine product has an expiration date located on the vaccine vial. Verify the vaccine expiration date was updated in WIR.

Webinars and Trainings

CDC COCA Call: COVID-19 Vaccines: Update on Allergic Reactions, Contraindications, and Precautions December 30, 2020 at 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM CT. During this COCA Call, clinicians will give an overview of recommendations for use of COVID-19 vaccines in certain populations. Clinicians will learn more about the recent reports of anaphylaxis following vaccination, as well as CDC's updated clinical considerations around contraindications and precautions to vaccination.

Pfizer Vaccine Just In Time Training Materials--Ensure your vaccination staff review the new just in time trainings from CDC regarding the Pfizer vaccine product. A similar training for the Moderna vaccine is forthcoming.

V-Safe Resources Update

Healthcare providers have a vital role in encouraging COVID-19 vaccine recipients to participate by providing the v-safe information sheet at the time of vaccination.

Suggested healthcare provider script for encouraging patients to participate in v-safe:

CDC has created a way for you to report how you feel after COVID-19 vaccination through a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to check in with you. Here (or in your packet) is a v-safe information sheet with more details and simple instructions to sign up.

V-safe resources for patients

  • V-safe information sheet is now available in 5 languages: English, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, and Simplified Chinese. Please email dhscovidvaccinator@wi.gov to request the information sheet.
  • V-safe after vaccination health checker website. V-safe web pages feature information on how to register and complete a v-safe health check-in (including step-by-instructions with images), troubleshooting, FAQs, and contact information for technical support. These web pages will be continuously updated with additional resources.

Long Term Care Facilities Staff Communication Toolkit

As the LTC Pharmacy Partnership begins this week, your staff may have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC has a toolkit that is meant as a resource for explaining COVID-19 vaccination to both residents and staff in LTCFs. It includes resources for talking with staff, residents, and families, FAQs on the vaccines, and tips on how to prepare staff and vaccine safety monitoring and reporting.

EUA Fact Sheets

Moderna-translated in six (6) languages for their EUA Health Care Provider Fact Sheet and Patient Fact Sheet. The languages are: English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, French, Arabic.

Pfizer-The reissued letter of authorization (LOA) and revised fact sheets for providers and recipients were posted by FDA on Dec. 23.  FDA also updated the FAQ page to include information on the additional dose, as well as other information on the reissued LOA.