COVID-19 Vaccine Providers Newsletter 01.12.2022

  • Third Party Claims Issues for new Pfizer (gray cap) COVID-19 vaccine
    • Pfizer transitioned to a new formulation of the COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 12 years and older. Pharmacies and healthcare providers are actively ordering and receiving these vaccines. Some pharmacies have reported challenges with processing claims as some third parties are not recognizing the new NDC. This can potentially lead to problems with reporting vaccine administration information to the Virginia Immunization Information System (VIIS).
  • U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) Update
    • On January 10, 2022, OSHA announced a new mandate that will take place in healthcare settings. If a healthcare facility has more than 100 employees, it is a federal requirement to implement a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy. In addition, starting February 9, 2022 healthcare facilities will be required to perform weekly COVID-19 testing for employees who are NOT up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccine series.Healthcare facilities include, but are not limited to, settings in which COVID-19 vaccination and testing occurs regardless of the number of employees. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has also issued a vaccination requirement for certain healthcare workers at healthcare facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding to be fully vaccinated. OSHA has also developed a COVID-19 plan template for healthcare facilities to use.You can view the full mandate here.  You may use the “Is your workplace covered by the COVID-19 Healthcare ETS?” flow chart to determine whether and how OSHA’s COVID-19 Healthcare ETS applies to your workplace. More information and FAQs can be found here.
    • Please note: The Supreme Court met on January 7, 2022 to discuss these new OSHA mandates; The Supreme Court has yet to make their final decision. Therefore, these mandates may be subject to change pending the final decision.
  • VDH Standing Order Update
    • Following the federal updates for the the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, VDH updated Standing Order to reflect this change
  • FDA Authorizes and CDC Recommends Shortened Interval for Moderna Vaccine
    • To increase consistency between the mRNA vaccines, on January 7, 2022 the FDA updated the EUA for the Moderna vaccine allowing persons 18 years of age and older to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster at least 5 months after completion of the Moderna primary series. CDCadopted this recommendation and updated their clinical considerations and booster website
    • The revisedClinical considerations document also incorporates the revised recommendations from the previous week for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, including the recommendation fora booster in people ages 12–17 years, shortened interval for boosting after completing the Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, and an additional primary dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for moderately or severely immunocompromised people ages 5–11 years.
  • HHS Update: COVID-19 Allocation Projections for January - On Friday, January 7, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued an update with a projected calendar of allocation amounts and cadence of COVID-19 therapeutics for the remainder of January. Of course, the COVID-19 environment is very dynamic; so, these projections could change based on daily analysis of related data. Updates regarding Gilead's product - VEKLURY(tm) (remdesivir), which is not allocated by the federal government but is available commercially. Following the recent statement from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel regarding therapies for the COVID-19 Omicron variant, CMS created HCPCS code J0248 for the VEKLURY(tm) (remdesivir) antiviral medication when administered in an outpatient setting. This code is available for use by all payers and is effective for dates of service on or after December 23, 2021:* Long descriptor: Injection, remdesivir, 1 mg* Short descriptor: Inj, remdesivir, 1 mgQuestions may be directed to us
  • VDH/Virginia
    • New: Declaration of a Limited State of Emergency in Virginia and Executive Order Eighty-Four - On January 10, 2022 Governor Northam declared that a limited state of emergency exists in the Commonwealth of Virginia because of COVID-19 and issued Executive Order 84. This Order immediately went into effect until February 11, unless amended or rescinded sooner. It directs the State Health Commissioner to waive normal bed licensing requirements, allows hospitals to increase their licensed bed capacity, and mandates increased coordination between hospitals and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies. It allows providers with an active out-of-state license to practice in Virginia. Physician Assistants licensed in Virginia with two or more years of experience may practice without a written electronic practice agreement. A licensed practical nurse may administer COVID-19 vaccine without the supervision of a registered nurse or licensed medical practitioner. The Order also provides certain liability protections to providers who act in good faith to protect patients and it increases flexibility in the transfer of patients to state-operated psychiatric hospitals.
    • Updated Vaccination FAQs - Added questions about the difference between the Pfizer purple cap and gray cap; storing COVID-19 vaccines. Updated questions about booster dose recommendations, for individuals 12 and up; Pfizer factsheets; staying up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccinations; quarantine guidance based on vaccination status.; information on Omicron; domestic and international travel guidance; timing of booster doses for Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J; additional doses for certain immunocompromised individuals who are ages 5 years and up; LTCF booster and additional dose guidance.
  • Pfizer 12+ Doses- Cap Colors/Formulations
    • Gray Top: ALL full quantity requests for Pfizer are being fulfilled with Gray caps. NO full quantity shipments of Purple caps are able to be shipped.
    • Purple Top: SSRP will still be fulfilling orders using the purple top Pfizer 12+ doses that are currently in the Commonwealth's inventory because these orders are processed by an internal fulfillment center. Once the current Purple cap inventory that is on-hand is expended, SSRP will transition to Gray caps; once transitioned, SSRP will not transition back.
  • SSRP Availability / Request Cutoff
    • SSRP doses are available for request each week until 5 pm on Friday. After this time, VaxMaX will not accept any requests, and will issue you an error notification. This is to help alleviate the staffing constraints at the internally managed fulfillment center that ships these doses to participating providers
  • For questions about VaxMaX and its functionality, please visit the VaxMaX Help website, which includes reference guides and tutorial videos.

Best Practice Spotlight

Upcoming Events

  • COCA Call (CDC Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity) - What Clinicians need to know about the new oral antiviral medications for COVID-19
    • January 12 at 2:00 pm ET- 3:00 pm ET
    • Attendee link
    • Passcode:180866
    • Telephone: +1 669 254 5252 
  • Medical Updates & Immunization Site Training for All Healthcare Providers led by Pfizer Vaccines U.S. Medical Affairs. Session topics include:
    • Introduction of the DO NOT DILUTE / Gray Cap formulation for individuals 12 years of age and older.
    • Use of each vaccine presentation, including storage, handling, preparation, and administration for:
    • Ages 5 through 11 Years: DILUTE BEFORE USE/Orange Cap
    • Ages 12 Years and Older:
      • DO NOT DILUTE/Gray Cap
      • DILUTE BEFORE USE/Purple Cap
    • Recent medical updates regarding the vaccine
    • An overview of healthcare provider resources
    • Question and answer session
  • Session dates-
  • Webinar: How to Talk to a Science Denier on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 from 11:00 am–12:00 pm ET - In this webinar hosted by the Kresge Foundation and the Emerging Leaders in Public Health National Program Office, Dr. Lee McIntyre, research fellow at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University, instructor in ethics at Harvard Extension School, and author of the recent book, How to Talk to a Science Denier, will share his thoughts and recommendations on how to communicate with and potentially change the minds of those who reject scientific evidence. Register now.
  • COVID-19 and Social Media: Best Practices to Reach Your Communities on January 20, 2022, 4:00 pm — During this 60 minute interactive webinar, experts will answer your most pressing questions on effective social media communication strategies and share the best practices for leveraging social media in your community -- especially with limited resources and small budgets. Two local communities will also highlight equity centered approaches that ensure public health communications reach our most vulnerable populations, feature culturally competent content and resources, and combat misinformation. Register here.

Helpful Resources

  • VDH
    • (Updated) When to end isolation and quarantine (infographic) - Updated the isolation and quarantine guidance to align with CDC’s Quarantine and Isolation guidance released on Jan. 4, 2022. Updates involved shortening the isolation period from 10 days to at least 5 days and shortening the quarantine period from 14 days to at least 5 days. For quarantine, used CDC’s current criteria for who should quarantine and who does not need to quarantine after close contact, which is based on vaccination and booster status. Also added steps to take during isolation at home, after close contact exposure, and during quarantine at home. This document is posted on multiple VDH COVID-19 websites: Resources and SupportHealth Professionals under Print Resources,  K-12 Education under General Resources tab and Resources for School Nurses tab, and the Testing and Laboratory page for healthcare providers under Resources for Patients
    • (Updated) If you are sick or infected page and If you have been exposed pages with revised isolation and quarantine recommendations.
  • CDC

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