COVID-19 Vaccine Providers Newsletter 04.27.2022

  • COVID-19 Provider Assurance Site Visits by VDH Staff - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to conduct on-site provider assurance visits of all COVID-19 vaccine providers, excluding federal retail pharmacy partnership program participants. According to CDC guidelines, all providers must receive an in-person compliance visit by June 30, 2024.
    • The goal of this visit is to assess each provider’s implementation of key COVID-19 Vaccination Program requirements and recommendations, and to provide education and technical assistance to support providers and their staff.
    • Prior to June 30, 2024, a Division of Immunization COVID-19 Provider Assurance Specialist will be contacting your office to schedule a visit.  On the day of the visit, please ensure that appropriate staff are available to answer questions regarding day-to-day operations, screening and documentation procedures, billing policies, and storage and handling practices.  The provider assurance staff currently consists of:  Halima Sadia, Lidia Amanuel, Tanisha Williams, and Kendra Silver.
    • If you have any questions, please contact Richard Bradley at the Virginia Department of Health at 804-484-0525 or at
  • CDC has released additional guidance for the option to receive a second COVID-19 vaccine booster dose on the Clinical Considerations page and on this fact sheet. (Updated on 4/21/2022). These updates include:
    • Who might consider getting the 2nd booster dose now (among those who are currently eligible):
      • People with underlying medical conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19 disease. People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised
      • People who live with someone who is immunocompromised, at increased risk for severe disease, or who cannot be vaccinated due to age or contraindication
      • People at increased risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, such as through occupational, institutional, or other activities (e.g., travel or large gatherings)
      • People who live or work in or near an area where the COVID-19 community level is medium or high or are traveling to such an area
    • Who might consider waiting to receive a 2nd booster dose (among those who are currently eligible):
      • People who have had a SARS-CoV-2 infection within the last 3 months
      • People who may be hesitant about getting another recommended booster dose in the future, as a booster dose may be more important in the fall and/or if a variant-specific vaccine is needed
  • On April 25, 2022, CDC issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory to update healthcare providers, local health departments, and the public about the availability and use of recommended therapies for COVID-19 and to advise against using unproven treatments that have known or potential harms for outpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19. For patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are not hospitalized and at increased risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes, several treatment options are now widely available and accessible.
  • National Infant Immunization Week started on April 25. This year it’s critical to make sure families stay on track for children’s routine checkups and vaccinations following disruptions from COVID-19. Use CDC’s 2022 digital media toolkit to to highlight the importance of childhood immunizations
  • The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an amendment to the EUA for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine extending the shelf-life of the following Pfizer product formulations from 9 to 12 months:
    • Pfizer Pediatric vaccine (Orange Cap for ages 5 through 11 years, with diluent)
    • Pfizer Adult vaccine (Gray Cap for ages 12+ years, no diluent)
    • Vials stored consistently in an ultra-low temperature freezer at -90oC to -60oC (-130oF to -76oF) may remain in use for up to 12 months beyond the date of manufacture printed on the vials and cartons.  Vials stored in refrigerated vials (2oC to 8oC) are NOT eligible for extension, regardless of the expiration date.  Additional information on Pfizer vaccine storage and handling may be found at Administration Overview for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine | CDC.


  • For questions about VaxMaX and its functionality, please visit the VaxMaX Help websitewhich includes reference guides and tutorial videos.

Best Practice Spotlight

Upcoming Events

  • On April 27, from 2–3 p.m. ET, CDC will host a webinar titled “Show me the data! What numbers mean to COVID-19 communications.” CDC encourages everyone who uses data to make recommendations in emergency communications to attend, including community leaders, public health workers, and emergency responders.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has caused toxic stress among youth, impacting their mental and emotional wellbeing. Join ASTHO for a webinar on April 28 from 3–4 p.m. ET on promising cross-sector strategies to address the issue, such as enhancing Medicaid services in schools, using a comprehensive mental health framework, and more.
  • The VDH Office of Emergency Preparedness is partnering with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Development Services and the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association to conduct a virtual Community Based Emergency Response Seminar (CBERS) this month. This year’s topic will be Mental Health Wellness and the Rippling Effects of COVID-19. Please join us as we discuss the different mental health issues that can affect us as we respond to and care for others during this pandemic. Participants will learn about the various types of stress caused by providing care to others during COVID, the difference between burnout and compassion fatigue, self-care, and coping strategies.
  • CDC COCA Call: Evaluating and Supporting Patients Presenting with Cognitive Symptoms Following COVID on May 5, 2022, 2–3 p.m. ET.  Presenters will discuss post-COVID conditions (PCC), an umbrella term for the wide range of health consequences that are present four or more weeks after infection with SARS-CoV-2, which includes long COVID. Cognitive symptoms, often described by patients as “brain fog,” are frequently reported following SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Helpful Resources

  • New: CDC Statement on Masks in Public Transportation Settings - CDC has asked the Department of Justice to proceed with an appeal in Health Freedom Defense Fund, Inc., et al., v. Biden, et al. It is CDC’s continuing assessment that at this time an order requiring masking in the indoor transportation corridor remains necessary for the public health. CDC believes this is a lawful order, well within CDC’s legal authority to protect public health. CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in all indoor public transportation settings.
    ASTHO (Association of State and Territorial Health Officials)
  • New: Isolation, Quarantine, and Public Health Authority Beyond the Pandemic - Public health agencies serve a crucial role in preventing and controlling infectious disease. A couple of their most effective tools are isolation and quarantine—but some states are moving to limit public health’s ability to wield those tools. This week's health policy update explores how states are proposing legislation around public health authority as the nation prepares to transition away from the pandemic phase of COVID-19.
  VDH External Web Updates
  • Updated: COVID-19 General FAQs - The FAQ Team consolidated information, removed outdated topics, and simplified language in many questions. New questions were added about the InspectIR COVID-19 Breathalyzer. Updates were made to questions about the end of the mask order on public transportation and the BA.2 subvariant.
  • Updated: What to do if you were potentially exposed to coronavirus disease (COVID-19)? - Updated CDC guidance on quarantining and self monitoring after cruise ship travel.
  • Updated: Overnight Camps - Added content about ordering free tests for camps and a registration link for "office hours" for camps to ask questions about guidance and testing.

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