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Upcoming COVID-19 Vaccine Ordering Changes

Upcoming COVID-19 Vaccine Ordering Changes

Next week, COVID-19 vaccine orders will be due on Tuesday, February 22 at 5pm instead of Wednesday, February 23. Please submit your upcoming orders by Tuesday at 5pm instead of Wednesday in order for them to be processed.

For assistance with submitting your order, email:

Provider Education Coordinator
DPHProviderhelp@phila.gov

Vaccine Order Specialist
Christine Wilson
Christine.Wilson@phila.gov

Vaccine Order Specialist
Charma Miller
Charma.Miller@phila.gov

Pediatric COVID Vaccine Pre-Order Update

Pediatric COVID Vaccine Pre-Order Update

On Friday, February 11, the FDA released a statement about postponing the review of the Pfizer maroon cap product for ages 6 months to 4 years. The review meeting was originally scheduled for February 15. However, this meeting will now be taking place closer to April, as Pfizer has new data that they would like reviewed at that time. The FDA would also like to consider new data regarding the third dose in this age group.

Because of this postponement, Pfizer maroon cap will not be available for ordering at this time. Orders for maroon cap Pfizer will be removed from the queue at this time, until we have further guidance. We apologize for the confusion. Thank you all for being so responsive and getting orders submitted quickly.

As we receive additional information regarding the review and approval plans for this product, we will share them with providers. Please see the FDA press release for more information.

Younger Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine Coming Soon!

Younger Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine Coming Soon!

The COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months through 4 years of age is expected to be approved as early as the end of February.

We need your help as trusted providers to ensure these children have access to vaccination.

Here’s why:

  • To ensure access. Children under 3 cannot be vaccinated in pharmacies and will have limited options of where to seek vaccination.
  • To meet a real need. Nationally, 70% of parents with kids in this age group are ready or close to ready to having their children vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Parents trust you. The vast majority of these parents would prefer to take their children to their regular provider to be vaccinated.

Your practice is key to vaccinating these younger children.

Click below to watch a video statement from Philadelphia Health Commissioner, Cheryl Bettigole, on the importance of this initiative.

What Can Your Practice Do to Be Ready?

Enroll: If you have not already enrolled, enroll now in the COVID-19 vaccine distribution program.

Spread the word: Let your families know you will be offering COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available. Order COVID-19 outreach materials (stickers, buttons, posters) at no cost to your practice.

Order: Order vaccine early and often.

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

COVID-19 Vaccine Pre-Order for Children 6 Months through 4 Years of Age

COVID-19 Vaccine Pre-Order for Children 6 Months through 4 Years of Age

Preordering for the COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months through 4 years of age is now open.

Please see below for the timetable for the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out for children between 6 months and 4 years of age (6mo-4yr). Everything shared below is contingent upon FDA & CDC approvals in the coming days and weeks.

Pre-Order Schedule:

  • Thursday, February 10, 11:00am ET: orders received by this time will be considered in the first order wave. Minimum order size for requests is 100 doses. Check Philavax Friday, February 11 to see the status of your order.
  • Monday, February 21: all providers that order in the first order wave must be able to receive the vaccine shipment on Monday, February 21, which is President’s Day, a state and federal holiday.

If you are not open on President’s Day, Monday, February 21, and would still like to pre-order the 6mo-4yr pediatric vaccine, place your order next week by Wednesday, February 16, 5:00pm ET. These orders will be delivered starting Tuesday, February 22 and continuing over the following days.

Regular vaccine ordering will tentatively begin on Friday, February 25, or approximately one week after the FDA approval and CDC recommendation. Providers will be responsible for managing second and potentially third doses (depending on the FDA authorization and CDC recommendation).

Shipment & Dosage Information

  • The vaccine for 6mo-4yr will come in a MAROON CAP vial.
  • The 6mo-4yr vaccine will come in packages of 100 doses (10 vials of 10 doses).
  • The 6mo-4yr vaccine will be 1/10 of the adult dose (3 mcg), packaged as a new product with a new NDC code.
  • The Pfizer vaccine formulations for ages 5–11 (Orange Cap) and for those ages 12+ (Purple & Gray Cap) CANNOT be used in place of the 6mo-4yr vaccine.
  • The vaccine can be stored in ULT freezers for 9 months and in the refrigerator for 10 weeks. It CANNOT be stored in a regular freezer.

Vaccine administration to this age group can only begin following a potential approval made by the CDC Director in conjunction with an ACIP recommendation.

If you have any questions, please email vaccines@phila.gov.

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.