COVID-19 Vaccine Providers Newsletter 02.24.2022

  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its COVID-19 vaccination guidance with additional information to help vaccine providers determine the optimal interval between the first and second dose of an mRNA vaccine series, based on the individual patient. These additional considerations followed a thorough evaluation of the latest safety and effectiveness data, and evidence from hundreds of millions of COVID-19 vaccines that have already been safely administered in the United States, and the billions of vaccines administered in other countries.
    • New data indicate that some people aged 12 through 64 years—and especially males age 12 through 39 years—would benefit from getting their second mRNA COVID-19 vaccine dose 8 weeks after receiving their first dose. Extending the time interval between primary mRNA COVID-19 vaccine doses from the FDA-approved or authorized 3 weeks (Pfizer-BioNTech) or 4 weeks (Moderna) to 8 weeks may help increase how long protection lasts against COVID-19. It may also help lower the (small) risk of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of tissue around the heart), which has been associated—mostly among adolescent and young adult males—with mRNA COVID-19 vaccination.
    • It’s important to note this update does not apply to everyone. Providers should continue to recommend the 3-week or 4-week interval for people who:
      • Are moderately or severely immunocompromised
      • Are age 65 years and older
      • May need early protection against COVID-19 due to concern about an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 or high levels of community transmission.
    • People aged 12 years and older with moderate or severe immunocompromise should receive three doses in their primary mRNA vaccine series and  a booster dose with an mRNA vaccine at least 3 months after completing their third primary series dose.
    • Regardless of the interval between the first and second dose, mRNA vaccines are highly effective at reducing the risk of hospitalization and serious complications from COVID-19 infection. And people who have already received their primary mRNA series at the 3-week or 4-week interval remain well-protected—especially if they have received a booster dose.
  • New: Pfizer Controlant Data “SAGA Logger” 
    • Starting this week, Pfizer vaccine shippers will begin transitioning to an updated data logger from Controlant.  This new device, SAGA Logger, will provide improved performance for monitoring and reporting during shipment.  The key improvements to this device include:
      •  Enhanced location accuracy with WiFi
      •  Utilization of the 4G cellular network
      •  Interactive LCD display with an improved user interface
      • 150 days of backup storage when no cloud is available
      • Longer battery life
      •  Improved data transmission capability
    • The new interactive LCD tracker display shows current temperatures and the minimum and maximum temperatures of the shipper contents during transit.  The screen also includes an easy-to-read status indicator for the safer NiMH extended-life battery.
    • The new SAGA Logger is slightly larger in size and, as with the previous logger, requires return shipping in the packaging materials provided with your order.
    • For additional information or questions, visit the Pfizer Webinar Series for Healthcare Providers for a complete schedule of trainings for February and March and to access links and passwords for each course.
  • Extra Ancillary Kits/CDC Vaccination Cards
    • If you have extra supplies from COVID-19 vaccine ancillary kits, including additional CDC Vaccine Cards, follow the donate/discard policies.
    • If donating supplies to other providers/organizations, this should be done between you and the other party and should not be used as an opportunity for publicity.  Reminder, these supplies cannot be donated to an organization outside the U.S.
    • Extra CDC Vaccine Cards should be finely shredded so they cannot be found and used fraudulently.
  • Pfizer Vaccine Updates for Children Aged 6 Months to 4 Years
    • The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has been informed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) that the initially scheduled roll-out for this new vaccine has been placed on hold. At this time, no additional orders for pre-positioning will take place until further notice.
    • Many providers across the state, specifically pediatric providers, have been in communication with their local health departments on receiving part of the initial allotment of vaccine that was expected to ship next week.  However, all of these orders have been canceled and no doses will arrive in the field until further notice.
  • For questions about VaxMaX and its functionality, please visit the VaxMaX Help websitewhich includes reference guides and tutorial videos.

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Helpful Resources

  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) released two videos encouraging COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy. The videos can be used as Public Service Announcements (PSA) on multiple platforms including, TV, social media, website, and radio.
    • The first video encourages all people who are pregnant, considering becoming pregnant, and lactating to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The second video supports clinicians and partners in counseling their patients to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

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