COVID-19 Vaccine Providers Newsletter 04.01.2021

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.
    1. First choice: DDL: Check/record minimum and maximum temperatures (min/max) on each day of the clinic before it opens.
    2. Second choice: Recently expired DDL (≤ 2 years): Check/record min/max on each day of the clinic before it opens.
    3. Third choice: Min/Max thermometer: Check/record min/max before and at the end of the clinic day
    4. 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.

Upcoming Events

Helpful Resources

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:

Contact Information Updates:

  • The contact information for reporting deficiencies with syringes and needles in federally supplied ancillary kits has been updated:
  • Janssen Customer Service:
  • To report an issue with Moderna/Janssen vaccine viability (must report day of delivery)

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