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Change in Wastage Guidance for COVID-19 Providers

Change in Wastage Guidance for COVID-19 Providers

Dear Providers,

Starting today, January 24th, all COVID-19 vaccine wastage must be reported in PhilaVax. Please reference the Wastage Reporting job aid under the Resources tab on vax.phila.gov for step-by-step guidance on this new process. The Monday.com form is now inactivated.

Our team is happy to help you navigate the updated wastage guidance. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to dphproviderhelp@phila.gov.

Thank you for your continued efforts to vaccinate Philadelphians!

2022-2023 Flu Season Changes and Survey

2022-2023 Flu Season Changes and Survey

Flu Season Planning Survey

Please complete our 2022-23 Flu Season Planning Survey by Friday, 1/21. Your responses are key in our planning for the next flu season.

Take the Survey

Changes for the 2022-2023 Flu Season

The FDA recently approved the expansion of the age range for a cell based manufactured vaccine, Flucelvax. Under this expansion Flucelvax can be administered to individuals 6 months of age and older.

The flu viruses used in the cell-based vaccines are grown in cultured cells of mammalian origin instead of in hens’ eggs. Most inactivated flu vaccines are produced by growing flu viruses in eggs.

Cell-based flu vaccine production does not use flu viruses grown in eggs and, therefore, is not dependent on the supply of eggs. In addition, cell-based flu vaccines have the potential to offer better protection than traditional, egg-based flu vaccines.

The viruses used to make cell-based vaccines may be more similar to circulating “wild” flu viruses than the viruses used to make egg-based vaccines. Growing flu viruses in eggs can introduce changes (called egg-adapted changes) that can cause differences between the viruses in the vaccine and the ones that are circulating. These changes may have important implications for the body’s immune response to vaccination. For example, egg-adapted changes could cause the body’s immune system to produce antibodies that are less effective at preventing disease caused by the specific flu viruses in circulation.

You can find more information about the types of flu vaccines approved for use in the US on the CDC website here:
Flu Vaccines: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/different-flu-vaccines.htm
Recombinant Flu Vaccines: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/qa_flublok-vaccine.htm
Cell-Based Vaccines: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/cell-based.htm
Flucelax Package Insert: https://www.fda.gov/media/115862/download

CDC Expands Booster Shot Eligibility

CDC Expands Booster Shot Eligibility

The CDC has adjusted their recommendation for when people can receive a booster shot, shortening the interval from 6 months to 5 months.

Earlier this week CDC made this recommendation for recipients of a Pfizer-BioNTech primary series. Now this recommendation has been extended to recipients of a Moderna primary series. This means that people 12 and older who initially received an mRNA vaccine series – two doses of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech – can now receive an mRNA booster shot 5 months after completing their initial series.

Recently the CDC also strengthened COVID-19 vaccination recommendations for children, now recommending that:

  • Moderately to severely immunocompromised children ages 5–11 years receive an additional primary dose of Pfizer-BioNTech to ensure optimal protection from the vaccine.
  • Children and teens ages 12–17 years should receive a booster shot.

For any questions, email vaccines@phila.gov.

Storage Unit Reminder

Storage Unit Reminder

Vaccines can only be stored in certain acceptable storage units. Your vaccine storage unit is a key component in maintaining the vaccine cold chain at your practice.

Your vaccine storage units must:

  • Consistently maintain storage temperature.
  • Have enough space to properly store vaccines throughout the year including back to school and flu season.
  • Have separate external doors for refrigerator and freezer.
  • Have Do Not Unplug stickers at the outlet, on unit, and on the circuit breaker.
  • Order Do Not Unplug stickers here.

All units must be plugged directly into a dedicated wall outlet. Units cannot be plugged into:

  • GFI/GFCI outlets (specialized outlets with a built-in breaker, may have reset buttons)
  • Outlets that can be activated by a wall switch
  • Extension cords, power strips, surge protectors
  • Ensure that the unit, plug, and circuit breaker on the electric panel are clearly labeled to prevent accidental loss of power.

Selecting a unit to store your vaccines in is an important decision.

Purchasing a unit that is reliable and accurate up-front is a worthwhile investment, both in time and money, for your practice. The time needed to respond to out of range temperatures and the cost of reimbursement for wasted vaccines can be very burdensome for practices whose unit does not maintain in-range temperatures.

To ensure that the unit that you are considering is the best option for your clinic, email our program at TempCheck@phila.gov so that we can offer insight on the units that are being considered based on other providers experiences with a brand, the typical supply on hand at your practice, and other considerations based on the CDC recommendations for storage units.

CDC Recommends Pfizer Booster at 5 Months

CDC Recommends Pfizer Booster at 5 Months, Additional Primary Dose for Certain Immunocompromised Children

The CDC is updating their recommendation for when many people can receive a booster shot. Everyone 12+ is recommended to receive a booster shot. Children 12-17 years old are now recommended to receive a booster shot 5 months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series. Adults 18+ can get a booster dose of any COVID vaccine (Moderna and Pfizer are preferred), but only a Pfizer booster is approved for children 12-17 years of age.

The booster interval recommendation for people who received the J&J vaccine (2 months) or the Moderna vaccine (6 months), has not changed.

COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Doses

Additionally, consistent with the prior recommendation for adults, the CDC is recommending that moderately or severely immunocompromised 5–11-year-olds receive an additional primary dose of vaccine 28 days after their second shot. At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for children aged 5-11.

For additional questions, email vaccines@phila.gov.

Reminder: Update Patient Contact Information

Help Us Improve the Patient Portal

Dear Providers, 

This is a reminder that the Immunization Program will soon be launching a patient portal where residents can easily access their immunization record, including their COVID-19 immunization record. This record can be used for entry into restaurants, theaters, schools, planes, and more. In order to offer this resource, PhilaVax records need to be up-to-date with each patient’s phone number and email address. Please ensure that the patient information in your electronic health record (EHR), including phone number and email address, is up-to-date when patients seek care at your facility. This information feeds directly into PhilaVax records and will be used by residents to access the patient portal. Without up-to-date information, patients will be unable to access the PhilaVax patient portal.

Thank you for keeping Philadelphia safe and healthy. If you have any questions, please email vaccines@phila.gov.

Action Required: User Re-Enrollment

Action Required: User Re-Enrollment

Dear PhilaVax Users,

PDPH is currently undergoing annual user re-enrollment.

All users must complete the confidentiality agreement for the 2022 calendar year for continued access to PhilaVax. 
All agreements must be completed by February 7, 2022. User accounts without an updated agreement by this date will be rendered inactive until the agreement is completed.

You can find the form at the button below. 

Partner to Hold Vaccine Clinics!

Partner to Hold Vaccine Clinics!

Dear COVID-19 Vaccine Providers,

If you have not signed up already and are interested in partnering with community-based organizations to offer COVID-19 vaccination at local events, please sign up using the link below.

Thank you to all providers who are currently signed-up to be matched with Philadelphia-based organizations who are seeking COVID-19 vaccine for their community members. If you have already completed the survey, there is no need to fill it out again.

Fill Out Our Vaccine Provider Capacity Survey!

In the event that PDPH has an organization seeking a vaccine provider, you will be contacted by PDPH to confirm your interest in partnering to hold the clinic before any contact information is shared.

Thank you for keeping Philadelphia safe and healthy. If you have any questions, please email vaccines@phila.gov.

Pfizer Gray Cap Transition Plan

Pfizer Gray Cap Transition Plan

Pfizer vaccine 1170 (with the purple cap) is being retired and a new formulation of Pfizer vaccine for adults/adolescents will be available soon. Anyone who placed a full order for Pfizer in Philavax this week will be receiving the new gray cap Pfizer next week. Partials order placed via the Monday.com form this week and next week will be Pfizer purple cap.

The new gray cap formulation does not require reconstitution with diluent and will not come with it. Do not reconstitute the gray cap Pfizer product.

View the Emergency Use Authorization.

Pfizer Tris Sucrose Adult Formulation

  • The vial packaging has a gray cap.
  • The vaccine does not contain preservative and is provided as a multiple dose vial.
  • Each vial must be thawed prior to administration.
  • DO NOT DILUTE prior to use.
  • DO NOT STORE in a standard freezer.
  • One vial contains 6 doses of 0.3 mL.
  • This formulation may be stored at 2-8C (36-46 F) for up to 10-weeks, and can be used on individuals 12 years of age and older.

Attend a Healthcare Provider Training

Dose Preparation and Use

  • Gray cap vaccine may be stored at room temperature (8C to 25C/46F to 77F) for a total of 12 hours prior to the first puncture.
  • After first puncture, the vial should be held between 2C and 25C/35F to 77F.
  • Vials should be discarded 12 hours after first puncture.
  • During storage, minimize exposure to room light, and avoid exposure to direct sunlight and ultraviolet light.
  • Do not freeze thawed vials.

Storage and Expiration

The date of manufacture is printed on the vial, not the expiration date. Undiluted vials can be stored up to 9 months in an Ultra Low Temperature (ULT) Freezer -90°C to -60°C (-130°F to -76°F). Vaccines should not be used after 9 months from the date of manufacture printed on the vial and cartons.

If you have any questions, contact vaccines@phila.gov.

COVID-19 Booster Recommendations

COVID-19 Booster Recommendations

COVID-19 boosters help protect our communities against the virus. The CDC recently announced its recommendation that everyone ages 16 and older should get a booster when possible.

Read below for a reminder of booster recommendations for your patients.

Those who received Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna should:
Get a booster at least 6 months after completing the primary COVID-19 vaccination series. 16 and 17-year-olds are only approved for Pfizer boosters. For everyone 18+, a “mix and match” approach to booster shots has been approved, so either Pfizer or Moderna boosters are recommended.

Those who received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen should:
Get a booster at least 2 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination. Pfizer or Moderna boosters are recommended.

For those who received a COVID-19 vaccine outside the United States:
• People who were vaccinated outside the United States with a single dose or 2-dose primary series of a currently FDA-approved or FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine are considered fully vaccinated and should receive a booster.
• People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised and were vaccinated with a 2-dose mRNA COVID-19 vaccine primary series should receive an additional primary dose before receiving a booster.
• If they received the first dose of a 2-dose mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series, they do not need to restart the vaccine series in the United States. They should receive the second dose as close to the recommended time as possible and are considered fully vaccinated upon completion of the 2-dose primary series.
• If they received a COVID-19 vaccine not approved or authorized by the FDA, they should be offered primary vaccination with an FDA-approved or authorized vaccine before receiving a booster.

View more information about COVID vaccinations outside the country.

If you have any additional questions, view the full CDC booster guidelines or email vaccines@phila.gov.