Virginia COVID-19 Vaccination Updates
Governor Ralph Northam announced on April 1 that all individuals in Virginia age 16 and older will be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine starting on Sunday, April 18, ahead of the May 1 nationwide goal set by President Joe Biden.
As a reminder, VDH has recently launched the Virginia Vaccine Management and Allocation Exchange (VaxMaX) to support providers with vaccine management and distribution, including capabilities for redistribution, data tracking, and reporting.
- VaxMaX serves as a single source for all dosage distribution and administration data as well as self-reported inventory of values from VaccineFinder.
- COVATS will no longer be updated with dosage data. Users should refer to VaxMaX for all reporting.
The Virginia Immunization Information System (VIIS) performs quality control checks on incoming data from electronic medical records systems (EMRS) before processing immunizations.
- Name validation is a quality control check performed by VIIS for all immunizations and can result in the immunization being rejected if a name is not properly formatted.
- Names that contain numerals or special characters result in rejections and require further review.
- This VDH guidance contains a summary of common data entry errors that cause immunization records to be rejected. Please stress the importance of data quality and provide this guidance to your staff.
Best Practice Spotlight
Sites are responsible for continuing to monitor the product storage temperature for all vaccines at all times.
- During shipping of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the temperature-monitoring device continuously tracks the temperature to ensure the frozen vaccine product has been maintained at the required temperature during transport to vaccination centers. Upon receipt, press and hold the stop button for 5 seconds.
- While digital data loggers (DDLs) are the preferred method for monitoring temperature of all COVID-19 vaccines, they may not always be available. Below is a list that provides a variety of options that can be used when monitoring temperatures.
- First choice: DDL: Check/record minimum and maximum temperatures (min/max) on each day of the clinic before it opens.
- Second choice: Recently expired DDL (≤ 2 years): Check/record min/max on each day of the clinic before it opens.
- Third choice: Min/Max thermometer: Check/record min/max before and at the end of the clinic day
- Fourth choice: Digital thermometer: Check/record the point-in-time temperature before and at the end of the clinic day
- View VDH’s micro courses on handling vaccine safely for quick videos (less than 5-minutes each) and resources about handling dry ice, monitoring vaccine temperature, and inventory and expiration dates.
Check out our complete list of COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic Best Practices here.
- Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 4 - 5 pm: VDH Office Hours for Providers
- April 5, 3 - 4pm: Ask an Expert: Q&A with a CDC Expert on Current COVID-19 Guidance: Dr. Cynthia Ogden will share updates on CDC’s COVID-19 response, including the latest scientific information and what everyone should know about protecting themselves and others.
- April 5-11, 2021: National Public Health Week - Building Bridges to Better Health. Check out the events page for a full list of events each day. Other events you can RSVP to include:
- April 5, 2021, 1 - 3pm: The NPHW Forum a conversation about the community-led movements that are creating a stronger, safer, healthier and more inclusive world. RSVP for the livestream.
- April 6, 4- 5pm: NPHW and AJPH: A fun Q&A about this month's NPHW issue of the journal. RSVP to attend the discussion
- April 6, 10:30am - 12pm: Bipartisan Policy Center/GTMRx Webinar: Building Vaccine Confidence During COVID-19: The Role of the Medical Neighborhood
- April 7, 1:30 - 3pm: CDC Public Health Grand Rounds - Join CDC for two timely presentations by CDC’s Preventive Medicine Grand Rounds. Dr. Jennifer Romaszewski will share Denton County’s experience as one of Texas’ COVID-19 Vaccination Hubs, and Dr. Howard Chiou will discuss the complexities of using social science to facilitate behavior change. Follow this link to attend the webinar. The passcode is PMGR_0407. CE is available and there is no cost for this activity.
- A new 2-page reference guide is available for healthcare professionals that provides basic information on the storage, preparation, and administration of all currently approved vaccines.
- This is an excellent side-by-side comparison document that provides quick and easy access to storage and transport temperatures, dosages and other useful information.
- You can find the document at: COVID-19 Vaccine: Quick Reference Guide for Healthcare Professionals (cdc.gov)
- COVID-19 Vaccination for People Experiencing Homelessness: Frequently Asked Questions - Updated information about the types of COVID-19 vaccines recommended for people experiencing homelessness. Updated information on ensuring follow-up for vaccines that require two doses.
- Underlying Medical Conditions Associated with High Risk for Severe COVID-19: Information for Healthcare Providers - This webpage provides an evidence-based resource for healthcare providers caring for patients with underlying conditions.
In the Press:
- President Biden, speaking at the White House, unveiled his new 90-90 plan, saying that 90% of U.S. adults will be eligible to get a COVID-19 shot by April 19, and 90% of the nation will live within five miles of a vaccination site.
- CDC Real-World Study Confirms Protective Benefits of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines - A new CDC study provides strong evidence that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infections in real-world conditions.
Long-Term Care Facility Resources:
- How Long-Term Care Facilities Can Help Monitor COVID-19 Vaccine Safety is an Educational Fact Sheet that may also help answer questions providers may receive.
- Vaccine Safety Monitoring for Long-term Care Facility Staff: VAERS: This video explains what the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) does, what should be reported, and how to report in VAERS.
Contact Information Updates:
- The contact information for reporting deficiencies with syringes and needles in federally supplied ancillary kits has been updated:
- Janssen Customer Service:
- Phone: 800-565-4008 (or) 1-908-455-9922
- Email: JSCCOVIDTEMPEXCURSION@its.jnj.com
- To report an issue with Moderna/Janssen vaccine viability (must report day of delivery)
- Phone: 833-272-6635 Monday-Friday, 8 am - 8 pm ET
- Email: COVIDVaccineSupport@McKesson.com (only send email if after hours)
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.