Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to footer

Bulletin

National Infant Immunization Week

National Infant Immunization Week
April 24 – 30, 2022

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is a yearly observance highlighting the importance of protecting children two years and younger from vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs). This year, in particular, it’s critical to ensure that families stay on track for children’s routine checkups and recommended vaccinations following disruptions from COVID-19.

Research has consistently shown that healthcare professionals are the most trusted and influential source of vaccine information for parents. All staff in healthcare practices, including non-clinical staff, play important roles during NIIW.

To highlight childhood immunizations this NIIW:

Additional resources are available from the CDC:

Pfizer Tris Shelf Life Extension (9-12 Months) Approved

Pfizer Tris Shelf Life Extension (9-12 Months) Approved

The Food & Drug Administration has approved an amendment to the EUA for Pfizer Tris COVID-19 vaccine extending the shelf-life of the following Pfizer product formulations from 9 to 12 months:

  • Pfizer Tris Pediatric vaccine (Orange Cap for ages 5 through 11, with diluent)
  • Pfizer Adult Tris (Gray Cap for ages 12+, no diluent)

Vials stored consistently in an ultra-low temperature freezer at -90°C to -60°C (-130°F to -76°F) may remain in use for up to 12 months beyond the date of manufacture printed on the vials and cartons. Vials stored in refrigerated vials (2°C to 8°C) are NOT eligible for extension, regardless of the expiration date. Additional information on Pfizer storage and handling may be found at Administration Overview for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine | CDC.

Pfizer Orange and Gray Cap Tris Vaccine expiry dates based on 12 months from the date of the manufacture are shown below and at Expiry Information for Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccines.

No changes have been made to the vaccine itself to enable extension of expiry dating. This change is based on stability data submitted by the manufacturer to the FDA.

Reminders:

  • Do not use Pfizer Tris products beyond 12 months from manufacture date.
  • Expiration dates for the Pfizer TRIS products are NOT printed on the vaccine cartons or vials.
  • Do not store Pfizer vials at -25°C to -15°C (-13°F to 5°F). Once vials are thawed, they should not be refrozen.

For more information, please review the updated FDA Factsheets:
Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers Administering Vaccine (Gray Cap/Adult)
Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers Administering Vaccine (Orange Cap/PEDS)

COVID-19 vaccines authorized under an EUA do not have fixed expiration dates, and expiration dates may be extended as more stability data is collected. Always check Expiry Information for Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccines  to obtain the most up-to-date expiration dates for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines you have in inventory.

Sanofi Discontinuing Menactra

Sanofi Discontinuing Menactra

In mid-2022, Sanofi will only offer MenQuadfi as their meningococcal ACYW conjugate (MCV4) vaccine. They will discontinue the distribution of Menactra in the US.

Sites currently using Menactra, need to transition to one of the other MCV4 products available: Menveo from GSK or MenQuadfi from Sanofi. The exact timing of the transition will be determined by usage over the coming months and inventory on hand in the CDC depots to minimize vaccine wastage.

To prepare for the transition, complete the below survey to let us know which MCV4 vaccine your site plans to order moving forward.

Complete the survey.

COVID-19 Vaccine Ordering Guidance

COVID-19 Vaccine Ordering Guidance

When providers are ordering in Philavax, please keep in mind that there are “Minimum Order Quantities.” This means that if you place an order below the minimum order quantity, PDPH will automatically increase it to meet the requirement. See table below for the MOQ’s (minimum order quantities) for each vaccine.

A couple of things to note:

  • Pfizer gray cap must be ordered in increments of 300 doses in Philavax which is a total of 5 boxes.
  • Janssen has to be ordered in increments of 100 doses in Philavax which is a total of 2 boxes.
    • The Food & Drug Administration announced the approval of a shelf-life extension for the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine for an additional two months. The shelf-life of this vaccine has been updated from 9 months to 11 months.

Partial Orders/Small Quantity Orders
If your site is interested in receiving less than the minimum order quantity (i.e., a couple of vials), you can place an order in Monday.com. All vaccine orders placed via Monday.com will arrive refrigerated on the following Tuesday or Wednesday. You can place a note in the comment section if you need to order Janssen or Moderna vials. Please do not forget to submit a temperature log and reconciliation with Monday.com orders. These orders are due by Wednesday at 5pm as well.

Place a partial order.

Communicating About Vaccines: COVID-19 & More

Communicating About Vaccines: COVID-19 & More

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health recently collaborated with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to develop a new educational module, “Communicating about Vaccines – COVID-19 & More.”

This free, web-based interactive session offers a two-hour training divided into three parts:

  1. Details the dangers of COVID-19 disease, explains the U.S. system to authorize and approve vaccines, and highlights the safety & effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.
  2. Explores best practices in vaccine communication.
  3. Reviews the module, offers additional resources, and explains how to receive continuing education credit or a certificate of attendance.

To learn more about the module or access continuing education credits (a version with no credits is also available), visit chop.edu/vaccine-online-learning.

This module was developed for adult and pediatric providers, immunization champions, and community members. It provides an understanding of COVID-19 disease, how the vaccine approval process works, and how to communicate effectively about these topics, so that ultimately stakeholders — and their constituents — have a solid, or reinforced, urgency regarding what the receipt of vaccines can do to protect people from COVID-19.

Please consider sharing with your colleagues and partners. If you have feedback or questions, email vacinfo@chop.edu using the subject line “COVID-19 online modules.”

Development of this free module was led and supported by the Vaccine Education Center and the Office of Community Engagement at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics, Pennsylvania Immunization Coalition, and Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

PCV15 and PCV20 Now Available Through VFAAR

PCV15 and PCV20 Now Available Through VFAAR

Vaxneuvance (15-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, PCV15) and Prevnar 20 (20-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, PCV20) are now available through the Vaccines for Adults at Risk (VFAAR) program in line with the updated ACIP recommendations.

Review our announcement and FAQ document to plan your site’s transition to the new vaccines.

VFAAR sites must decide whether they will order PCV20 or PCV15 and PPV23 going forward. Complete the below survey to notify our program of your site’s preference. We will review each site’s submission and reach out with next steps. 
We recommend that sites that are part of a system or are affiliated use the same vaccine presentations across sites to ensure continuity of care and help prevent administration errors.


Updated Pneumococcal Vaccine Recommendations  

Adults aged ≥ 65 years. Adults aged ≥65 years who have not previously received PCV or whose previous vaccination history is unknown should receive 1 dose of PCV (either PCV20 or PCV15). When PCV15 is used, it should be followed by a dose of Pnuemovax 23 (PPSV23) at least one year later. 
Adults aged 19–64 years with certain underlying medical conditions or other risk factors. Adults aged 19–64 years with certain underlying medical conditions or other risk factors who have not previously received PCV or whose previous vaccination history is unknown should receive 1 dose of PCV (either PCV20 or PCV15). When PCV15 is used, it should be followed by a dose of PPSV23 at least one year later. 

PCV13 is no longer recommended for adults under the new recommendations. Providers should no longer administer PCV13 to individuals 19 years of age and older. 

Additional Resources

Ask the Experts (March 2022)

Vaccine Information Statement (February 2022)

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (January 2022)   

Vaxneuvance package insert 

Prevnar 20 package insert

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

COVID-19 Ancillary Kit Update

COVID-19 Ancillary Kit Update

All Moderna COVID-19 vaccine shipments will now include only one ancillary kit: one ancillary kit to one carton of vaccine, instead of two ancillary kits to one carton of vaccine. This change will take effect with orders placed beginning on Monday, April 11, 2022, at 10 am ET.

Providers are able to opt-out of future ancillary kit shipments (with the exception of Pfizer 5-11, as it requires diluent). In order to do so, please place a note in the comment section of your order if you are interested in opting out of Moderna, Janssen, and Gray Cap Pfizer supplies.

Although many providers are reporting an excess of ancillary supplies, PDPH is unable to accept any ancillary kits/supplies back from providers. Ancillary supplies can be donated domestically (not internationally) if sites are unable to use them. However, surplus CDC cards should be properly destroyed to avoid any misuse. If disposing of any needles, providers should utilize the appropriate sharps bins.

Email COVID@phila.gov with any questions.

Contact the Immunization Program!

Contact the Immunization Program!

The Immunization Program manages several email accounts to support providers and the public with immunization-related queries. Use this guide to determine who to contact based on the nature of your request:

PhilaVax@phila.gov: PhilaVax account support and technical issues (patient update requests, vaccine reporting questions, etc.)

Vaccines@phila.gov: General inquiries.

DPHProviderHelp@phila.gov: Medical provider assistance (Clinic Tools and inventory support, vaccine ordering and returns, reconciliation, staff changes, etc.)

TempCheck@phila.gov: Vaccine storage and handling inquiries (temperature logs, storage units, DDL technical problems, etc.)

Vaxevent@phila.gov: COVID-19 clinic matchmaking (organizations seeking to be matched with providers for COVID-19 vaccine events).

VaxontheGo@phila.gov: Vaccine orders and logistical inquiries (COVID-19 vaccine order status, vaccine transportation, transfer logs, etc.)

Covidproviders@phila.gov: COVID-19 provider enrollment, quality assurance, and vaccine expiration questions.

Prefer calling?

The following telephone and fax numbers are available for providers as well:

Storage and Handling
p
215.685.6777
f 215.238.6948

VFC & VFAAR
p
215.685.6728 / 215.685.6667
f 215.238.6948

Thank you for keeping Philadelphia safe and healthy!

HRSA Has Stopped Accepting COVID-19 Uninsured Claims

HRSA Has Stopped Accepting COVID-19 Uninsured Claims

CDC strongly encourages providers to continue administering vaccines.

Due to the lack of supplemental funding from Congress, HRSA has stopped accepting claims for reimbursement of costs associated with administering COVID-19 vaccines to uninsured and underinsured individuals as of 11:59 PM ET on April 5, 2022.  

CDC encourages providers to stay in the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program and continue administering these lifesaving vaccines at no cost to patients. CDC remains committed to ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. 

As a reminder, COVID-19 Vaccination Program providers cannot:

  • Administer COVID-19 vaccine at any out-of-pocket cost to the recipient
  • Deny anyone vaccination, or differentially reducing appointment access, based on the vaccine recipient’s coverage status or network status
  • Charge an office visit or other fee if COVID-19 vaccination is the sole medical service provided
  • Require additional medical services to receive COVID-19 vaccination
  • Seek any reimbursement, including through balance billing, from the vaccine recipient

Where CDC becomes aware of a provider engaging in any of the following, CDC will consider taking any and all appropriate measures, including the possibility of rescinding the CDC provider agreement.

For further information, please see the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Requirements and Support webpage

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

New Resource Available for In-Home COVID Vaccination Providers

New Resource Available for In-Home COVID Vaccination Providers

There is a new resource available for COVID-19 providers who are vaccinating in the home. It contains contact and website information that can be used to report and assist with commonly encountered situations. Providers are welcome to utilize this information as needed and can also reach out to PDPH if they have any additional questions about in-home vaccinations.

Resources for In-Home Vaccine Providers

These resources can be used to report and assist with commonly encountered situations.

For legal assistance when encountering domestic violence, hoarding, home repair, or neighbor disputes, please contact:

For situations involving older adults, including elder abuse/crime, homecare and residential care, caregiver information and resources, or housing, home repair, food, legal resources, and transportation, please contact:

  • Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE): www.carie.org | 1-800-356-3606
  • Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA): www.pcacares.org | 215-765-9040

For other disability specific resources:

To report suspected instances of Child Abuse, call ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313.
To report suspected instances of Human Trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

For all urgent or life threatening emergencies, dial 9-1-1.

View printable resources.