COVID-19 Vaccine Providers Newsletter 03.05.2021

FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (J&J/Janssen) single-dose COVID-19 Vaccine on February 27 for persons 18 years and older.

  • This means COVID-19 vaccines now are available from three different drug manufacturers: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.
  • CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) also endorsed the single-dose vaccine, and CDC director Rochelle Walensky signed off on their recommendation. The ACIP published their recommendation for the use of the vaccine in persons 18 years and older.
  • Johnson & Johnson has communicated that the weekly supply will be limited for the next few weeks after the initial distribution until the manufacturing cycle steadies.
  • Virginia is expected to receive 69,000 doses of the vaccine this week, which will be prioritized for mass vaccination clinics across the state.
  • An additional allotment is expected to be sent to pharmacies participating in a federal partnership to help vaccinate priority groups, such as those 65 and older, at no cost.
  • Shipment of the initial supply of doses (3.9 million) began on March 1.
  • J&J is expected to deliver another 16 million doses by the end of March, and 100 million doses by the end of June.
  • Visit the CDC J&J/Janssen product information page to get the latest COVID-19 clinical resources and guidance including the EUA, ACIP recommendations, storage, handling, and transport guidance as CDC actively creates and updates resources.
  • CDC has also updated their Product Information Guide for COVID-19 Vaccines and Associated Products and their Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Authorized in the United States with J&J/Janssen information
  • Has your EMR system incorporated this vaccine, including CVX, NDC or CPT codes? It is important that this information is live in your EMR system to be able to document that you administered the vaccine. Below is coding information you can provide to your EMR system to ensure it's been updated.
    • Trade name: Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine
    • Vaccine name: COVID-19vac,vector-nr,rS-Ad26,PF,0.5 mL
    • CPT Code: 913030
    • CVX Code: 212
    • NDC: 59676-0580-15 CARTON, 10 MULTI-DOSE VIALS
    • NDC: 59676-0580-05 VIAL, MULTI-DOSE, 2.5mL
    • Manufacturer: Janssen Products, LP
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it is allowing undiluted frozen vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to be transported and stored at conventional temperatures commonly found in pharmaceutical freezers for a period of up to two weeks.
    • This reflects an alternative to the preferred storage of the undiluted vials in an ultra-low temperature freezer between -80ºC to -60ºC (-112ºF to -76ºF). The updated Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Fact Sheet for Health Care Providers Administering Vaccine (Vaccination Providers) is intended to help frontline workers understand the new alternative transportation and storage temperatures. In brief, undiluted vials may be stored at the following temperature ranges:
      • Between -80°C and -60°C (-112°F to -76°F) until the expiration date
      • Between -25°C and -15°C (-13°F to 5°F) for up to two weeks
        • Note: These temperatures are within the appropriate range for routinely recommended vaccines, BUT the temperature range for this vaccine is tighter. If storing the vaccine in a freezer with routinely recommended vaccines, carefully adjust the freezer temperature to the correct temperature range for this vaccine.
      • Between 2°C and 8°C (35°F to 46°F) for up to 120 hours (5 days)

VDH has started holding office hours for providers from 4-5 pm Monday through Friday.

  • We understand the vaccine program is dynamic and fast-moving. The goal of holding these office hours is to get answers to your questions quickly, encourage collaboration between VDH and providers, and to improve data reporting and vaccine throughput.
  • This is an additional opportunity for direct conversation with VDH staff. We look forward to offering this opportunity as another means to improve our coordination with you.
  • We have added conference call information for the office hours below. Office hours can also be found in the VDH calendar.
    • Join Webex Meeting
    • Meeting number (access code): 185 596 9274
    • Meeting password: iiGZgS8MM33
    • Join with a Phone: +1-517-466-2023,,1855969274##

To meet the volume demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, Moderna has engaged multiple suppliers of vials for the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine.

  • Thus far, the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine has been filled and distributed in clear vials. With the addition of new vial suppliers, a portion of the vials recently entering distribution may appear thicker and display a slight green tint as a result of the vial sterilization process used during manufacturing.
  • This tinting is strictly visual and has no impact on the vaccine. A range of vial colors under various lighting conditions may be encountered in the field and over time, and vial tinting may fade naturally, resulting in a faint yellow color.
  • Please continue to inspect each dose of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine prior to administration in accordance with the Administration section of the Fact Sheet for Providers.

Best Practice Spotlight

The effort to administer COVID-19 vaccines to a large number of people in a variety of settings may increase the risk for needlestick injuries among vaccinators and other vaccination site workers. Needlestick injuries (NSIs) can transmit bloodborne pathogens, including hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. Mass vaccination clinics may pose greater risks for NSIs to vaccinators, especially when performed in non-traditional settings and in high volumes. NSIs might be more common among inexperienced vaccinators. To prevent NSIs at your clinic, employ the following safety and health measures:

  1. Vaccinators must be trained on the vaccination process, including dilution and administration of the vaccine. Training should include device review and hands-on practice with devices (syringes and needles) that will be used in the clinic. All training should occur in advance of performing vaccinations.
  2. Devices with engineered sharps injury protection features can significantly reduce the risk of a NSI and are critical to a successful vaccine clinic program. All vaccinators should be trained in the proper activation of the sharps injury prevention feature before use.
  3. Generally, if vaccinators use two hands to engage the safety device, they have a higher risk of NSI. Ensure vaccinators are comfortable operating the device with a single hand.
  4. Puncture-resistant sharps containers must be located as close to the point of use as possible to discard all used syringe and needle devices. The container should be labeled, color-coded, secured to prevent tipping over, and closed and replaced when three quarters full.
  5. Ensure vaccinators understand the need to contact a supervisor immediately if a needlestick occurs.

Additional information and safety measures to avoid NSIs can be found at the following links.

  1. NIH: Injection Safety for COVID-19 Vaccinators & Vaccine Administrators Preventing Needlesticks and Blood Exposures
  2. CDC NIOSH Science Blog: Preventing Needlestick Injuries at COVID–19 Vaccination Sites

Check out our complete list of COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic Best Practices here.

Helpful Resources

J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine key messages:

  • Janssen’s vaccine has been shown to prevent severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization, and death and is another tool to help combat COVID-19.
  • The vaccine was studied in multiple countries, including South Africa and Brazil, both places where variants of COVID-19 had already emerged at the time of the clinical trial.
  • The different types of vaccines were not studied in a consistent manner that allows head-to-head comparisons; therefore, they should not be compared to each other.
  • Adding Janssen’s vaccine to our toolbox means more people can get vaccinated, which increases the overall population protected from severe disease, hospitalization, and death.
  • In addition, this vaccine does not need to be kept in a freezer and can be stored at refrigerator temperatures— so it is easy to transport and store and allows for expanded availability in most community settings and mobile sites, as supply scales up.
  • Having different types of vaccines available for use, especially ones with different dosing recommendations and storage and handling requirements, can offer more options and flexibility for the public, jurisdictions and vaccine providers.

Information about expiration dates from the CDC:

  • The expiration date should be checked before 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 date in VTrckS. 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.
  • J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine: The expiration date is NOT printed on the vaccine vial or carton. To determine the expiration date:
    • Scan the QR code located on the outer carton, or
    • Call 1-800-565-4008, or
    • Go to
  • Moderna COVID-19 vaccine: The expiration date is NOT printed on the vaccine vial or carton. To determine the expiration date:
  • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine: This vaccine product has an expiration date located on the vaccine vial. CDC will be updating VTrckS effective immediately to replace the placeholder date in VTrckS with the actual expiration date.

Information about the COVID-19 vaccination program is changing frequently. This newsletter will offer regular updates to providers who have submitted an intent to vaccinate or signed the CDC provider agreement within Virginia.

VDH COVID-19 Vaccination Response: Healthcare Professionals Website