Return All 2019/20 Influenza Vaccine

Return all unopened seasonal 2019/20 VFC/VFAAR influenza vaccine.

All VFC/VFAAR influenza vaccine supplied by the Philadelphia Immunization Program during this past flu season has expired.Please account for unused VFC/VFAAR flu vaccine at your site using PhilaVax:

  • Process a return for the unopened vials online in the Vaccines Returns module
  • Complete an adjustment to account for open vials in the Inventory on-hand page

More information about reporting expired VFC/VFAAR vaccines is on the Immunization Program website.

Return your vaccine before July 24th

Please complete these steps by July 24, 2020 to avoid delays in processing your site’s 2020-21 flu season orders. If you have questions, contact or call Mohan Najaraja (215-685-6872).

Vaccine available for the 2020-21 flu season


Product Manufacturer / NDC Eligibility Dose/ Presentation / Type CPT Code CVX Code
FluLaval GlaxoSmithKline / 19515-0816-52 6 mos – 18 years 0.5 mL / single-dose syringe / inactivated, quadrivalent 90686 150
Fluzone Sanofi / 49281-0420-50 6 mos – 18 years 0.5 mL / single-dose syringe / inactivated, quadrivalent 90686 150
Fluzone Sanofi / 49281-0633-15 6 mos – 18 years 0.5 mL/ 5.0mL multi-dose vial / inactivated, quadrivalent 90688 158
FluMist1 AstraZeneca / 66019-0307-10 2 – 18 years 0.2 mL / intranasal sprayer / live, quadrivalent 90672 149


Product Manufacturer / NDC Eligibility Dose/ Presentation / Type CPT Code CVX Code
Fluarix GlaxoSmithKline / 19515-0885-52 19 years & older 0.5 mL / single-dose syringe / inactivated, quadrivalent 90686 150
Flucelvax2 Sequirus/ 70461-0320-03 19 years & older 0.5 mL / single-dose syringe / inactivated, quadrivalent 90674 171

1 A limited supply of FluMist, the nasal spray, is available to order for your VFC eligible patients. Continue to order injectable flu products for most of your patients, and FluMist for your patients who refuse a shot.
2 A limited supply of Flucelvax is available to order for your VFAAR eligible patients who have egg allergies or requests an egg-free flu vaccine.

Don’t delay, return your expired vaccine now

It is difficult to anticipate exactly when flu vaccine will be available. However, the health department is committed to getting flu vaccine to our providers as soon as it arrives. To prevent delays, please complete your flu return today.

All communication about the availability of flu vaccine will be made via email and posted on our website. Keep you eyes open for upcoming messages! If you need to add more people to our mailing list, please contact us at

Thank you for helping to protect Philadelphians this past flu season! We look forward to working together to keep people safe from the flu next season.

COVID-19 Conference Call Follow Up

Thank you to all the providers who joined our conference calls last month. Please review this summary of the strategies and resources we discussed to address the decrease in vaccination that has been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vaccinating during the pandemic

A number of practices shared what they are doing to safely offer vaccines during this time that we thought would be helpful for other practices. These measures include:

  • Communicating cleaning and other preventative measures with parents and guardians when scheduling visits.
  • Having all family members wear a mask to the visit.
  • Limiting the number of persons who accompany a patient for the visit.
  • Bringing patients straight to the exam room, avoiding any time in the waiting room. Some practices asked families to wait outside the office and called parents and guardians when they were ready to see the patient.
  • Scheduling vaccine appointments in blocks in the morning, separate from sick and other visits.
  • Using separate entrances for well and sick visits.
  • Offering vaccines in spaces that better lend themselves to social distancing. Examples of measures that practices implemented include offering vaccination curbside in the parent’s vehicle and using other rooms in the clinic such as conference rooms for vaccination that are separate from the exam rooms.

New resources

Several new resources have been developed in response to the feedback that we got from providers.

  • Take a few minutes to review the new Safer at Home website, a hub of re-opening guidelines and resources for Philadelphia. It includes the Guidelines for Outpatient Health Care Facilities guide, a plain language summary of rules for reopening in the Yellow Phase.
  • Offering PhilaVax Reminder Recall webinars to train vaccine coordinators and office managers on how to use this tool to identify patients who are due for a vaccination. The reminder recall has the functionality to aid with mailings and automatic dialing programs. The first training is scheduled for Wednesday, June 17 at 10 am. Register for the training here.

Coming resources

Based on the feedback that we received during our conference calls, we are working on several resources to support immunization services in your clinics. These include:

  • Resources for reaching out to parents, guardians, and patients to encourage them to come in for well visits and vaccination.
  • Guidance on implementing vaccination clinics that also allows for COVID social distancing measures. If your practice is considering a vaccination clinic, it is important to start thinking about the logistics and space now.

Keep an eye out for emails with these resources and they will also be posted on our website, The Immunization Program looks forward to our continued partnership during this challenging time. See below for some steps you can take to keep your vaccine inventory stocked.

Ordering VFC vaccine

Please stay in communication with our program as changes that impact vaccination are implemented. Continue to do the following:

  • Let us know your plan for visits over the coming weeks when you place your order so that we can better match your current vaccine supply with projected usage.
  • Work with your staff who access vaccines to ensure that the vaccine coordinator is notified when you are running low on any vaccines in between orders.
  • Reach out to our program about vaccine needs as they arise. We can help ensure that you get the vaccines you need in a timely manner.

Our response to requests for vaccine is situation dependent. We consider many factors whenever a site requests vaccines. Do not hesitate to reach out because a previous request was denied.

Philadelphia COVID resources

Pediatric patients (0 – 18 yo) can be referred to CHOP for testing if you cannot offer testing at your practice. To refer a patient, your office should call Joani Schmeling at 215-685-6490 Monday through Friday between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm.

  • Have the following info available when you call: Patient name, Date of birth, Address, Parent / Guardian Contact information, Symptom and exposure information.

The city has several resources available to help providers during the pandemic.


Thank you for all you do to keep your patients safe and healthy!

Immunization Service Survey

Help us help you! Take our immunization service survey!

Dear VFC and VFAAR Providers

Thank you for your continuing service to your patients, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. Our team continues to provide core immunization services as we respond to the pandemic.

In order to better support you during this time, please complete this survey so that we can better understand your immunization needs at this time.



We’re here to help!

If you have any questions regarding the following, we are here to help:

And, if there are changes at your office that will affect your ability to properly store and monitor your vaccines or your office will be closed in response to COVID-19, email for guidance.


The Philadelphia Immunization Program

Update for VFC & VFAAR Providers

Covid-19 Update for VFC/VFAAR Providers





To Our VFC and VFAAR Providers:

On behalf of the entire Immunization Program team, we want to thank you for your service to your patients, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. We also want to thank all the doctors, nurses, medical assistants, office staff, laboratorians, and clinicians that are tirelessly working to keep Philadelphians healthy. Covid-19 update for vfc.vfaar providers


As your partners in public health, the Immunization Program is committed, alongside you, to ensure that safe and viable vaccines are available to children and adults. All our PDPH Immunization staff are considered ‘essential personnel’ and are reporting for duty at the health department. Our staff are here to answer your concerns regarding the Vaccines for Children Program and the Vaccines for Adults at Risk Program. Although some of our routine services are limited while we respond to COVID-19, our core immunization services are operational (see list below). However, all in-person VFC and IQIP visits are cancelled until further notice. Our team will be reaching out to sites with scheduled visits to discuss next steps given these changes. We do ask for your patience while we juggle our routine job duties and the COVID-19 response.


If you have any questions regarding the following, we are here to help:



And, if there are changes at your office that will affect your ability to properly store and monitor your vaccines or your office will be closed in response to COVID19, email for guidance.


Thank you for your ongoing confidence, partnership, and trust. The Immunization Program is committed to the well-being of Philadelphia’s residents and we are grateful for your support.




The Philadelphia Immunization Program

2020 Enrollment Is Open! Enroll Today!

2020 Enrollment Opens Today!

The Philadelphia Immunization Program’s Vaccines for Child (VFC) & Vaccines for Adults at Risk (VFAAR) enrollment opens today! Log into PhilaVax and begin your enrollment right now!

Annual enrollment is required to receive federally funded vaccines regardless of if it’s your first year or hundredth! Enrollment will be open until February 28th. Don’t wait – enroll today!

To help you through enrollment, we’ve created the following materials…

Clinic Information Changes Cheat Sheet

Your sites contact information (ie staff, delivery hours and address) populates to the enrollment form. Get a head start on enrollment by updating your clinic information now. Our Clinic Information Changes cheat sheet breaks these changes down into simple steps. You can download our Clinic Information Changes Cheat Sheet here.

Enrollment Cheat Sheet

You can download our Enrollment Cheat Sheet PDF here. Our enrollment cheat sheet breaks down the enrollment process step by step. It also provides useful tips that will make your 2020 enrollment much easier. The Enrollment Form will be available in PhilaVax starting on Monday, February 3. Review the instructions today so that you know what to expect next week.

Contact us!

Have questions about enrollment? Having difficulties accessing the cheat sheets? Contact our Immunization Education Coordinators! You can email them at or call 215.685.6872 or 215.685.6490.

Being enrolled in VFC/VFAAR helps keep vaccines available to all Philadelphians. We strongly encourage you to log into PhilaVax and re​-enroll today! Don’t wait until the 28th!

2020 Enrollment begins February 3rd

2020 Enrollment begins February 3rd

Happy new year! The Philadelphia Immunization Program annual Vaccines for Children (VFC) and Vaccines for Adults at Risk (VFAAR) enrollment opens on Monday, February 3rd.

Start the new year off on the right foot. Complete your VFC/VFAAR enrollment on time.

This year’s enrollment period runs from February 3rd to February 28th. During this time all VFC/VFAAR sites must log in and complete the online enrollment. Annual enrollment is required to receive federally funded vaccines regardless of if it’s your first year or hundredth! Don’t wait until the end of February. Login and get started on Monday, February 3rd!

Vaccine Shipment Delays During the Holiday Season

Please Submit Vaccine Orders by Monday, December 9

Don’t let delays in vaccine shipments during the holiday season leave you with no vaccine!

To ensure your office has sufficient vaccine in stock, please submit orders by 3:00 PM on Monday, December 9. Complete orders received by December 9th at 3pm will be processed and shipped as usual, without delay. Do not wait until the last minute to submit your order! Please check the status of your order no more than 2 days after submission.

Orders submitted between Tuesday, December 10 and Thursday, January 2 may not be delivered until the week of January 6. The distribution center will return to normal operations on January 2.
Contact the VFC/VFAAR Program if you Need Assistance

Provider Education Coordinator

Mohan Nagaraja, 215-685-6872,
Joani Schmeling, 215-685-6490

Vaccine Order Specialists

Christine Wilson, 215-685-6728,
Charma Miller, 215-685-6667, []

VFC & VFAAR Coordinator

Jillian Brown, 215-685-6424, []

The Philadelphia Immunization Program wants to thank you for all your hard work this year and for doing your part to keep Philadelphia healthy. We wish you good health and wellness during this holiday season!

Update your Digital Data Logger software today

Update your Digital Data Logger (DDL) software today

 Please update to the latest version of the LogTag software, which makes small but important changes to how the digital data loggers (DDL) work and prevent future compatibility issues.

This update will not affect downloading processes or your daily responsibilities and will take about 1 minute to do. Please do this update by Friday, 1/25.


How to update your software

To update your software:

If you need administrative or IT permission to download software, please contact your IT department as soon as possible.


If you have any questions about this update please contact:

Alexis Bridges and Adam Howsare

Storage & Handling Coordinators

Phone: 215-685-6777

Holiday DDL Download Reminder

Digital Data Logger Download Reminder During the Holiday Season

To make sure that your vaccines stay properly monitored over the busy holiday season, please be aware of the date indicator on your digital data loggers (DDLs). To prevent any gaps in temperature monitoring, please download your DDL files if the date indicator is approaching the 30 day capacity. With many offices having adjusted holiday hours or staff members taking time off, the 30 day capacity on your DDL could be reached.

To prevent this, we suggest that you download your DDL files before they reach their 30 day memory capacity. This may mean downloading your DDL earlier than you normally would. This will ensure that they continue to record temperature readings for your storage units over the holidays.


After you download your DDL files, remember to:

1) Email both your LTD (yellow and blue) and CSV (green) files to

2) Upload your CSV files into the Clinic Tools module in PhilaVax


Contact the VFC or VFAAR program if you need assistance or have additional questions:

Storage and Handling Coordinators

Alexis Bridges       phone: 215-685-6777

Adam Howsare     phone: 215-685-6777


VFC & VFAAR Coordinator

Jillian Brown          phone: 215-685-6424


Holiday Vaccine Shipping Delays

Vaccine Shipment Delays During the Holiday Season

Submit orders by December 7th

To make sure that you receive vaccines when you need them, submit orders by 3:00 PM on Friday, December 7. These will be processed and shipped out as usual. Be sure to check the status of your order 2 business days after submitting.

Orders submitted between Monday, December 10 and Friday, December 28 may not be delivered until the week of January 8th. The distribution center will return to normal operations on January 2.


During the holiday season – from mid-December to early January – the distribution center that ships vaccine provided through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) and Vaccines for Adults At Risk (VFAAR) programs will have reduced shipping capacity. Orders submitted during this time may take longer than usual to ship.


Contact the VFC or VFAAR program if you need assistance.

Provider Education Coordinators

Joani Schmeling      phone: 215-685-6490

Mohan Nagaraja      phone: 215-685-6872


VFC & VFAAR Coordinator

Jillian Brown          phone: 215-685-6424


Vaccine Order Specialists

Christine Wilson      phone: 215-685-6728   

Charma Miller         phone: 215-685-6667


ProQuad now available through VFC

ProQuad vaccine now available through the VFC program

ProQuad is now available through the Philadelphia Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. ProQuad is a combination MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) and Varicella vaccine. This combined vaccine lets you administer more vaccines with fewer injections.

About ProQuad

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends ProQuad for a patient’s second dose of MMR and varicella vaccine. As a first dose, ProQuad is associated with a slightly higher risk of febrile seizure, so use separate MMR and varicella vaccines for the first dose unless a parent prefers ProQuad.

Ordering ProQuad

Order ProQuad through PhilaVax at the way you normally order other vaccines. Before you order ProQuad for your VFC-eligible patients, you should also stock enough privately-purchased ProQuad to treat patients who are not eligible for VFC.

Protect adults from shingles with the new Shingrix vaccine

Protect adults from shingles with the new Shingrix vaccine

Shingrix (recombinant zoster vaccine) is a vaccine to protect healthy adults age 50 and older from shingles. You can now order Shingrix through the Vaccines for Adults At Risk program (VFAAR) for adults 50+ and uninsured.

About Shingrix

Administer Shingrix to adults age 50 and older, with two doses separated by 2 to 6 months.

Ordering Shingrix

Order Shingrix through PhilaVax at the way you normally order other vaccines. We recommend ordering a small amount, initially, to gauge demand. We will work with you to help figure out how much to order: our VFAAR coordinator will review orders and make adjustments to avoid wastage. Before you order Shingrix for your VFAAR-eligible patients, you should also stock enough privately-purchased Shingrix to treat patients who are not eligible for VFAAR.

Storing and Handling

Shingrix must be stored in the refrigerator. Administer it immediately after reconstitution or store it in the refrigerator and use it within 6 hours. Do not freeze Shingrix. If Shingrix freezes, it is spoiled.

Important changes to

Over the next few weeks, you’ll notice some changes to We hope these changes will make it easier to find resources that will be helpful for you in your job.

The website looks a little different

We re-organized the information on the website so that it will be easier for you to find resources that you need to vaccinate Philadelphia’s residents. Take a look. If there’s something you’d like to see on the site, feel free to email us at

And the URL will change—so update your bookmark!

On Tuesday, June 26th, the  web site’s URL will change. You’ll find the site at So update your bookmarks: starting June 26th, you won’t be able to find us at the old URL.  Use the new URL to access PhilaVax, the Immunization Information System, the same way you do now. So make sure to update your bookmark.


Register for a required Clinic Tools training

Good news! PhilaVax is adding a new tool called Clinic Tools.

Clinic Tools makes it easier to communicate temperature and clinic information with the VFC/VFAAR programs. Through Clinic Tools, you’ll be able to:

  • Keep track of storage units and data loggers
  • Upload temperatures directly to PhilaVax (no more faxing in paper logs, though you still need to keep them filed for 3 years)
  • Maintain up-to-date clinic contact information
  • Access and complete your annual VFC/VFAAR enrollment form

Register for a required Clinic Tools training

We need to train you to use this tool. You can attend the training from your own computer. Click here to register. Unable to register? Give us a call at  215-685-6872 (Mohan) or 215-685-6490 (Joani), or email us at and we can help you out.

Training dates

Morning times: 10 AM – 10.30 AM

  • December 11


Reminder: we need your emergency management plan

The VFC/VFAAR Emergency Vaccine Management Plan has been updated for 2018. This document helps both you and us prepare for an emergency – like if the power goes out or if your refrigerator or freezer stops working.

If you haven’t already done this, we need you to update your information on the Emergency Management Plan and send it to us. To update your plan:

  • Download the Emergency Management Plan here
  • Print a copy of the plan
  • Complete the first page and fax it to us at 215-238-6948
  • Gather the supplies needed for emergency transport (listed on pages 6-7) and store them near your storage units
  • Post the Emergency Vaccine Management Plan near your storage units

Keep vaccines safe while defrosting – check out our guidance

Freezers can sometimes build up too much ice. When you need to defrost your VFC/VFAAR unit, we can help you move or store your vaccine while you defrost your primary unit. Contact us for defrosting guidance.


2018 Storage and Handling Update

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health has updated storage and handling guidelines for the Vaccines for Children (VFC) and Vaccines for Adults At Risk (VFAAR) programs. This update includes:

  1. New policies
  2. New forms
  3. New tools
  4. Contact us

These new guidelines help ensure that the cold chain is preserved and vaccines are protected.

New policies
These policies ensure that each dose of vaccine administered to patients is viable and effective. Please share this information with all staff who work with VFC and VFAAR vaccines.

Using Digital Data Loggers: Monitor all VFC/VFAAR vaccine with a certified, calibrated digital data logger (DDL) during:

  • Routine onsite vaccine storage
  • Vaccine transport
  • Mass vaccination clinics

PDPH will store back-up DDLs at our offices. You may need a back-up thermometer to:

  • Defrost units
  • Monitor new units
  • Identify issues with your primary DDL

If you need a back-up thermometer, contact TempCheck at 215-685-6777.

Recording vaccine temperature: Continue to use paper temperature logs to check and record vaccine storage unit temperatures twice a day. Record the min and max temperatures at the start of each clinic day.

We will review paper temperature logs at our yearly compliance visits, or during unannounced storage and handling visits. Keep copies of both paper and digital temperature logs on file for at least 3 years.

Storing vaccine: To protect the viability of vaccine, it’s important to store vaccines at acceptable temperatures in appropriate storage units.

Dormitory-style (or bar-style) units – refrigerators with one exterior door and an evaporator plate (cooling coil) for freezing – are not reliable enough to safely store VFC/VFAAR vaccine.

Freezers that are part of a household combination refrigerator/freezer unit are also not acceptable for storing VFC/VFAAR vaccine. For vaccines that must be stored in a freezer, you must use a standalone freezer unit.

Never use dorm-style units or household freezers – even to temporarily store vaccine while your’e defrosting your main units.

New forms

Updated forms are designed to help you maintain the cold-chain at your site. Please download and review the updated documents and fill out the necessary forms. Download them here.

  • Paper temperature logs: use the new log with your certified, calibrated DDLs. Please review the instructions to make sure you’re documenting temperatures correctly.
  • Vaccine management plan: this ensures that you can protect the viability of VFC/VFAAR vaccine. Keep this near the vaccine storage units.
  • Emergency vaccine management plan: Keep this near your vaccine storage units. Fax page 1 to VFC/VFAAR, and whenever you make updates.
  • Out-of-range Temperature Response Form: use this to document when vaccines are exposed to out-of-range temperatures, determine if you can still use the vaccines, and report your findings.

New tool: Clinic Tools, a new feature coming to PhilaVax

We have a new tool in PhilaVax: Clinic Tools, which makes it easier for you to meet program requirements.

Over the next few months, we will contact Vaccine Coordinators to conduct Clinic Tools trainings – after which your site can use Clinic Tools to:

  • Submit temperature logs online
  • Keep up-to-date clinic information like phone numbers, address, staff information, and delivery hours

Contact us if you need assistance

We know that changes can be confusing, so don’t hesitate to be in touch if you have questions about what to do.

Questions about storage and handling, out of range temperatures, or the DDLs? Contact Adam Howsare and Alexis Bridges at 215-685-6777 or

Recommendations for the Meningococcal Serogroup B Vaccine

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health is issuing recommendations on when healthcare providers should recommend and administer the meningococcal serogroup B (MenB) vaccine to patients. In October 2014 and January 2015, the FDA licensed two MenB vaccines for people age 10 to 25 years.

Guidelines on when to recommend the MenB vaccine, and answers to common questions, are below.

Recommend MenB vaccine to people over age 10 if they’re at increased risk

For patients at higher risk, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendation for MenB is a Category A recommendation: routinely recommend this to people with conditions that increase the risk of meningococcal disease.

Certain conditions affect a person’s ability to mount an effective immune respose against meningococcal disease. Give MenB vaccine to patients who:

  • Have complement deficiency
  • Have functional or anatomic asplenia (including patients with a history of sickle cell disease)
  • Take eculizumab (Solaris), an immunosuppressive medication that supresses complement

Also give MenB vaccine to people who are part of a MenB outbreak – for example, to students at a high school or university with an active MenB outbreak. Make this determination in consultation with the Health Department.

Individual clinical decision: give MenB to people age 16 to 23

For most patients, the ACIP recommendation for the MenB vaccine is a Category B recommendation: the vaccine may be given to patients age 16 to 23 – preferably between 16 and 18 – to provide short-term protection from most strains of serogroup B meningococcal disease.

Meningococcal infections are fairly rare, with fewer than 500 reported cases per year in the United States and 50 to 60 cases due to serogroup B among adolescents and young adults. The highest rates of infection are among adolescents, especially older adolescents, even those who do not attend college or live in a dormitory. Giving the vaccine to people age 16 to 18 will protect them when they are at the highest risk of infection.

MenB questions and answers

How are MenB vaccines different from the other meningococcal vaccine that we give to adolescents?

There are now two types of meningococcal vaccine:

  • MCV4 (quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine) protects against 4 different meningococcal serogroups: A, C, W, and Y. It is routinely recommended for all 11-12 year olds with a booster dose at 16 years.
  • MenB vaccines only protect against serogroup B.

There is no single vaccine that protects against all of these types (A, B, C, W, and Y) at the same time.

Can MenB be given simultaneously with MCV4?

Yes, MenB and MCV4 can be administered at the same visit but if possible, in different arms. Since the MCV4 booster and Men B are recommended for the same age range, simultaneous administration may happen.

How many doses of the MeB vaccine do I need to give?

The 2 different MenB vaccines have different dosing schedules:

  • Bexsero: give in 2 doses (0 and >1 month after the first dose), regardless of risk status
  • Trumenba: give in 2 doses (0 and 6 months after the first dose) for healthy adolescents. Give in 3 doses (0, 1-2 months, and 6 months after the first dose) to adolescents with high risk conditions or during a MenB outbreak

Does it matter which MenB vaccine I offer?

You can use either one of the MenB vaccines – the CDC does not have a preference for either product. However, the two MenB vaccines are not interchangeable: you should use the same MenB vaccine for all doses in the series.

If your patient has HIV, the CDC recommends the 3-dose Trumenba series, though the 2-dose Bexsero may also be used.

Why is there a Category B recommendation for MenB vaccines?

The ACIP bases their recommendation on tow main factors:

  1. An overall low prevalence of meningococcal disease. The ACIP considered the number of potential cases prevented with different recommendation strategies. Targeting older adolescents, young adults, and individuals with high risk conditions would prevent the most cases for the number of individuals vaccinated.
  2. The ACIP is awaiting more data on duration of protection and vaccine effectiveness. Right now we know that vaccination increases antibodies against meningococcal B which is used as a measure of protection rather than reduction in clinical disease. The low prevalence of disease makes it difficult to measure the impact of actual infection. We also do not know how long protection will last. Based on current data, antibody levels are still elevated at about 3 years. This is why the vaccine is recommended for short term protection, targeting older adolescents.

Should I recommend it to teens going off to college?

MenB has been associated with recent outbreaks, many of which have been on college campuses. Therefore, some colleges may recommend or require both MCV4 and MenB vaccination.

Age 16 to 23 is the highest age-related risk period for any older adolescent and young adult, even if they are not attending college. The risk of exposure to meningococcus is associated with many behaviors that any adolescent and young adult may engage in, such as intimate kissing, tobacco exposure, large social gathering, and living in a dormitory. This is why MenB vaccine should be preferentially administered to people age 16 to 18.

Am I required to keep it on hand and offer it like the rest of the vaccines on the schedule?

No, there is no requirement to have MenB in stock because of the recommendation to offer vaccination for certain high risk conditions or at your discretion.

However, having MenB vaccine in stock will help ensure that you can provide MenB vaccination for your patients whom you do want to vaccinate and avoid missed opportunities. It is also important to have MenB available if you have patients with any high risk conditions for whom MenB vaccines should be given.

Am I in trouble if I don’t offer it?

Because MenB has a Category B recommendation, there are no penalties if you choose not to offer the vaccine. However, you may be asked about MenB during your regular VFC program audit visit so that we can help answer any questions that you may have.

Will private insurers pay for it?

Health plans are required to cover new vaccine recommendations without cost sharing within one year of the publication of the new recommendation. MenB recommendations were published in October 2015.

I’m just not sure how to proceed with this Category B recommendation.

This is a new vaccine that can help prevent meningococcal disease due to serogroup B for the age group at highest risk of infection. We do not see a lot of meningococcal disease but when we do, there can be significant morbidity and mortality that is difficult to predict. A higher proportion of the disease we do see is due to serogroup B which, until now, we have not been able to prevent through vaccination. When your patients come to clinic for their MCV4 booster, the MenB vaccine can be offered as an option to all 16-18 year old patients. Parents or teens may also request MenB.

The only way to see any of the potential benefits of vaccination is to provide the vaccine.