COVID-19 Vaccine Providers Newsletter 09.01.2021

  • CDC Media Statement: CDC Statement Following ACIP Pfizer-BioNTech Vote -  On August 30, 2021, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation for use of the Pfizer-BioNTech’s licensed vaccine for people aged 16 years and older. This recommendation follows FDA’s decision to fully approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for this population. Full statement here.
  • Press-Release: Johnson & Johnson Announces Data to Support Boosting its Single-Shot COVID-19 Vaccine - On August 25, 2021, Johnson & Johnson announced data supporting the use of its COVID-19 vaccine as a booster shot for people previously vaccinated with the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The company is engaging with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), CDC, and other health authorities regarding boosting with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
  • CDC's Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Approved or Authorized in the United States - On August 31, 2021, CDC updated its clinical considerations guidance document to account for ACIP’s recommendation of the Pfizer-BioNTech (COMIRNATY) COVID-19 Vaccine in persons aged ≥16 years. Other revisions involve updated information in key points to reflect currently available evidence, updated information on COVID-19 vaccines in the Background section, updated information in the section on Considerations for use of an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine following a primary vaccine series, and updated laboratory testing information on timing of immune-based tests for tuberculosis infection in relation to COVID-19 vaccine administration.
  • VDH's Vaccination FAQs
    • VDH’s vaccination FAQs were recently updated to include new questions about Comirnaty/Pfizer-BioNTech  and FDA’s approval, safety and effectiveness, FDA’s emergency use authorization for people aged 12-15 years, and should I get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine because it is FDA approved. FAQs about the differences between FDA’s full approval and emergency use authorization (EUA) were updated.
  • As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing commitment to increasing access to vaccinations and improving health equity, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is expanding opportunities for people to receive COVID-19 vaccinations in their home. To ensure Medicare beneficiaries who have difficulty leaving their homes or are otherwise hard-to-reach can receive the vaccination, providers can now receive additional payments for administering vaccines to multiple residents in one home setting or communal setting of a home. Attached is the press release CMS sent out about this announcement, which means that an additional 1.6 million adults could now have access to the vaccine in their home.
  • Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, United States, 2021–22 Influenza Season -  This report updates the 2020–21 recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) regarding the use of seasonal influenza vaccines in the United States (MMWR Recomm Rep 2020;69[No. RR-8]). Routine annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons aged ≥6 months who do not have contraindications. The 2021–22 influenza season is expected to coincide with continued circulation of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Influenza vaccination of persons aged ≥6 months to reduce prevalence of illness caused by influenza will reduce symptoms that might be confused with those of COVID-19. Prevention of and reduction in the severity of influenza illness and reduction of outpatient visits, hospitalizations, and intensive care unit admissions through influenza vaccination also could alleviate stress on the U.S. healthcare system.
  • Vaccine Deliveries
    • COVID-19 vaccine will not be delivered this upcoming Monday, September 6th, due to the Labor Day holiday. Deliveries will be presumed on Tuesday.
  • SSRP (Small Shipment Redistribution Program) Vaccine Shipments
    • As a reminder, providers are not to order from the SSRP program each week. To maintain the sustainability of the program, we ask that everyone order enough doses to cover administrations through the period in which the doses maintain their shelf life.
    • The doses that are currently being shipped by the SSRP program were kept under ultra cold conditions, and are eligible for the shelf-life extension recently granted by the FDA. This means that the doses are still able to be sustained at the frozen then refrigerated conditions for the standard time periods.
  • For information and data supporting the Pfizer-BioNTech shelf-life extension, please refer to the following:
  • For questions about VaxMaX and its functionality, please visit the VaxMaX Help website, which includes reference guides and tutorial videos.

Best Practice Spotlight

  • Testing demand has recently increased as cases of COVID-19 are rising due to the more contagious Delta variant.
    • All COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing serious illness and death. While vaccination is the most effective strategy to protect individuals, families and communities, testing remains an important tool to help identify individuals with illness, protect those around them, and monitor trends in COVID-19 infections.
    • “It’s critical that we reserve our hospital emergency rooms and rescue squads for medical emergencies, so if you’re seeking a COVID test and it is not an emergency, please utilize other testing locations,” said Laurie Forlano, M.D., deputy director, VDH Office of Epidemiology.
    • VDH has partnered with Walgreens to provide Abbott BinaxNow Rapid antigen testing at no cost, at selected locations. Walgreens pharmacy team members will help you self-administer your COVID-19 test. Test results will be processed at the pharmacy and provided to patients within 24 hours. COVID-19 testing is available by appointment to adults and children aged 2 years and older who meet screening criteria for testing. Make an appointment at
    • Due to the current surge in COVID-19 cases, some testing locations may prioritize tests for symptomatic persons or persons with known close contact to a person with COVID-19.
    • For questions about COVID-19 testing or a list of testing locations, visit the VDH COVID-19 testing website, VDH’s COVID-19 FAQs (Testing for COVID-19),  or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Upcoming Events

  • Back to School Fall 2021: A CDC COVID-19 Prevention Strategies for K-12 Schools National WebinarCDC’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) response team will host a national webinar Friday, September 3, 2021 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET to provide state, tribal, local, and territorial (STLT) education and public health partners with the latest information and resources on the COVID-19 outbreak and U.S. efforts.  Invited call participants include STLT education agencies, school district leadership, and education organizations in addition to health directors, epidemiologists, health officials, public health laboratory directors, and nongovernmental partners.
    • The webinar will be held as a Zoom webinar. Connection details are noted below. Please submit questions in advance via email to so we can prioritize addressing them on the webinar.
    • Connection Details:
      • Please click the link below to join the webinar:
      • Passcode: 2gY*KF?^
      • Or One tap mobile : US: +16692545252,,1613204246#,,,,*87401112#  or +16468287666,,1613204246#,,,,*87401112#
      • Or Telephone: Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 669 254 5252  or +1 646 828 7666  or +1 551 285 1373  or +1 669 216 1590
      • Webinar ID: 161 320 4246
      • Passcode: 87401112
  • Wednesday, September 8, 2021 at 3:00pm ET:  Disinfecting Devices & Best Practices -  The American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) and Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSU) invite you to attend the fifth webinar as part of our “Safer Disinfectant Use” mini webinar series on Wednesday, September 8, 2021.  Jason Marshall, ScD, Laboratory Director at the University of Massachusetts’ Toxics Use Reduction Institute, will discuss a variety of devices that have been marketed to deliver disinfectants or directly disinfect. Their role in disinfection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus will be addressed as well as any safety concerns. Register here.
  • CDC What’s New Webinar: Equity and Policy Preparedness during Public Health Emergencies. CDC, in conjunction with the National Governors Association (NGA) and the American Bar Association, will host a “What’s New: Equity and Policy Preparedness during Public Health Emergencies” webinar from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, September 14, 2021. This webinar is aimed at preparedness and response professionals and will focus on how states and territories can better serve these groups through the end of the COVID-19 response and future public health emergencies. Specifically, this webinar leverages lessons learned from the efforts of states and territories to meet the needs of disproportionately affected groups in 2020, to identify persistent barriers, and to identify promising practices for states seeking to address longstanding public health equity issues. Register here to attend the webinar.

Helpful Resources

  • Pediatric Surge Resources for the COVID-19 Pandemic The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) Team reviewed materials on the COVID-19 Resources page and searched for additional resources in the Pediatric/Children Topic Collection and Pediatric Crisis Standards of Care Resources.
    • This aggregated information is found in the document, ASPR TRACIE Technical Assistance Request_8-23-2021.pdf.
    • Section I of this technical assistance (TA) response document includes general considerations related to pediatric surge capacity, capability, management, and guidance.
    • Section II provides healthcare coalition (HCC)-related resources and considerations.
    • Section III includes resources that focus on operational considerations.
    • Section IV provides resources and considerations specific to telehealth.
    • Section V includes links to operationally focused resources.
    • Section VI highlights additional related resources.
    • Please refer to the CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 webpage and NIH’s COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines for the most up-to-date clinical guidance on COVID-19 outbreak management.
  • CDC Vaccine Equity Event: Spotlight on Community-Based Organizations: : Watch this webinar to learn how community-based organizations are increasing COVID-19 vaccine confidence and uptake. This webinar introduces the new program, Partnering for Vaccine Equity, which supports national, medical, non-profit, academic, faith-based, and community-based organizations in their work to increase vaccine confidence and vaccine uptake. Subtitles and transcripts are available in English, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese and Simplified Chinese. Event contains one Spanish presentation.

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