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01.22.21

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

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Keri Barclay

Manager of Clinical Preparedness/Coalition Administrative Liaison

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Fact Sheets

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  • COVID-19
  • Disease Management

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coronavirus COVID-19 fact sheet

Please check back frequently as this information changes regularly. Last update: April 22, 2021 

Ordering FAQs

Question: How do I place an order?  

Answer: Order requests no longer will be made by email. A new online ordering form is available to submit order requests through https://redcapsdp.azurewebsites.net/redcap/surveys/?s=TY8DTL4RYY

  • Pfizer ships in a minimum order of 1,070 doses.
  • Moderna ships in a minimum order of 100 doses.
  • Janssen ships in a minimum order of 100 doses.
  • First dose orders are due each Wednesday at 5 p.m. for shipment the following week. 
  • First doses typically arrive on Monday or Tuesday.  
  • Second dose orders currently are ordered by the state on behalf of the provider. Second doses typically arrive Wednesday or Thursday. 

 

Question: If our order is not fulfilled, should we order again? 

Answer: Yes. DHSS is not maintaining a list of previous order requests. If an order request is not fulfilled, it should be considered expired and a new order request should be sent.  

 

Question: How do I determine if a vaccine shipment is a second dose shipment?

Answer: If the order contains second dose vaccine, the DHSS order confirmation email will reference the second dose in the email subject line (Pfizer Vaccine Order — Week 6 Second Dose Order) and will state the order submitted was a second dose order in the body of the email. This email is sent to three separate facility email addresses pulled from ShowMeVax — the Primary Coordinator, Backup Coordinator and Facility. In addition, DHSS adds a comment in the order within ShowMeVax indicating it is a second dose order.

The date of arrival also may indicate if the order is prime or second dose. Currently, second dose orders should arrive on Wednesdays. DHSS anticipates a change in the ordering cadence so that prime doses arrive on Tuesdays and second doses arrive on Thursdays. Providers also may email the DHSS COVID-19 Vaccine Orders to covidvaccineorders@health.mo.gov with the following subject line: ‘(Provider Pin) Assistance needed: 1st or 2nd dose’.

As a reminder, once an order is placed by DHSS, the shipping is out of the department’s control.

 

Question: How do I redistribute vaccine?

Answer: To transfer vaccine from your location to another, a redistribution agreement first must be in place. A redistribution request form has been added to the vaccinators resource web page. Moving forward, please use this form to submit all redistribution requests. All requests must be approved before the redistribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

When transferring vaccine:

  • also transfer the ancillary kits
  • only transfer unopened vaccines
  • do not transfer open vials or partial doses in syringes
  • document transferred inventory in ShowMeVax in the On Hand Inventory Module by clicking on Action, then Transfer.

Questions? Contact covidvaccineredistribution@health.mo.gov. Please do NOT contact VFC SUPPORT for vaccine transfer assistance.

Second Dose Logistics FAQs

From the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services

Effective Jan. 22, 2021, DHSS received confirmation from our federal partners at Operation Warp Speed that we will be receiving specific booster dose allocations in addition to the baseline prime dose allocations that our partners have received. DHSS will provide additional clarity on the ordering cadence for booster doses in the coming week, but this welcome news highlights the need to proceed with injecting all prime doses that already have been shipped to our state partners. Vaccinators should not reserve any prime doses for future use as booster doses.

 

Question: Should vaccinators alter previously scheduled second dose clinics or use corresponding second dose shipments received in the next two weeks as first doses?

Answer: No. Until DHSS provides further notice, corresponding second dose clinics should proceed as scheduled, and second dose vaccine currently on-hand or received in the next two weeks should be used for its intended second dose purpose.

 

Question: How important is the second dose?

Answer: The second dose is critical to ensure individual and community protection. At this time, research cannot confirm how long a single dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine will offer adequate protection. To maximize the efficacy of the prime dose of vaccine, a booster dose should be administered as soon as possible after 28 days for those receiving the Moderna vaccine, and as soon as possible after 21 days for those receiving the Pfizer vaccine.

 

Question: What is a vaccinator’s liability for delaying or failing to give a corresponding second dose?

Answer: The Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act provides broad immunity to individuals and entities that dispense, prescribe and administer COVID-19 vaccines; however, failing to follow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization may subject a vaccinator to liability. Both the Pfizer and Moderna EUAs direct a second dose be administered within a prescribed timeframe. Failure to administer booster doses within the timeframe established by the respective EUAs could subject a vaccinator to liability if an individual suffered adverse consequences of the COVID-19 virus. See MHA’s liability fact sheet for additional details.

 

Question: How do we place our second dose order?

Answer: Second dose orders are automatically placed on your behalf by the state. If you received dose #1 by means of redistribution from another provider, the same will need to happen with dose #2.

 

Question:  What do I do with an “unclaimed” second dose?

Answer: After two full days and two attempts, the vaccine now is open to alternative use. Additional booster dose guidance is available from DHSS.

Understanding the problem of using booster doses as primes:
In addition to no-shows for second dose appointments, we also hear of vaccinators extracting a seventh dose from Pfizer vials and administering them. Both situations can cause “unmatched” doses, meaning an intended second dose becomes a prime for someone new. The issue with “unmatched” doses is that a booster dose — a second-dose shipment of vaccine — used as a first dose will not have another shipment, meaning the person who receives that booster as a prime now does not have a matching vaccine. 

Following up with the state after administering a booster as a prime:
After making every effort to prevent using a booster as a prime, we realize situations still will arise. The state cannot guarantee we will be able to provide you a matching dose; however, we will make every effort on your behalf. Here’s what we need you to do:

Attempt to Solve internally: When vaccinators are conducting booster clinics and have extra doses, those doses can be used to meet the future booster need instead of being converted to prime doses, provided the vaccine has not already been drawn and can be returned to storage. In addition, vaccinators also may convert a dose originally allocated as a prime to a booster dose to meet the need.

Reach out to a community partner: Vaccinators should reach out in advance to other local community vaccinators for availability of a booster match. Hospitals, local public health and regional implementation teams can use EMResource as a reference to report or identify booster dose needs.

When all other avenues have been exhausted: Please note that if a matching booster dose need is going to be significant and no other option has addressed the need, vaccinators should reach out to the Vaccine Ordering Team at covidvaccineorders@health.mo.gov for further discussion.

 

Question: What is EMResource, and how do i use it for booster dose needs?

Answer: EMResource is a statewide communications platform routinely used by hospitals, local public health agencies, emergency medical services and emergency management to collect and disseminate time-sensitive health care-related information during disasters and emergency activations. The platform, supported through federal grant funding, has been used through the COVID-19 response for a variety of queries and data sharing. At this time, hospitals, local public health departments, and regional implementation teams can report booster dose shortages in the system. Current EMResource users are encouraged to use the COVID-19 Vaccine – Booster Deficit Request query as a tool to enter these deficits. The information submitted to the query then populates a static view to summarize current booster needs by region. Vaccinators with a time-sensitive booster dose shortage are encouraged to update the query status as soon as an unmet booster need is identified. EMResource users with surplus vaccine should reference this information to identify potential opportunities for vaccine redistribution.

Regional Coordination FAQs

Question: How do we get in contact with the Regional Implementation Team in our region?  

Answer: Information about the status of RITs is included in Vaccinating Missouri’s Workforce Against COVID-19: A Guide for Employers. Questions regarding the RIT in your area may be sent to CovidVaccine@health.mo.gov or contacting your regional team leader directly

 

Question: Will the RIT contact vaccinators, or should vaccinators contact them? 

Answer: If an RIT is established in your region, we encourage you to reach out. A Regional Implementation Map with contact information is available.

 

Question: What is the process for vaccine resource requests? 

Answer: At this time, resource requests should go through formal request processes (to your local emergency operations center or local emergency management director). It is a best practice to let your RIT and HCC know of the request for awareness. The RIT may be able to meet the need locally.  

 

Question: Does the development of RITs divert vaccines from primary vaccinators? 

Answer: The role of the RIT is coordination and should not divert vaccines from the region. However, the organizations awarded the contracts to execute RIT deliverables also may be vaccinators based on their primary organizational scope, such as a health department.  

 

Question: What is the role of the National Guard in vaccination?  

Answer: Gov. Parson issued a press release outlining the role of the National Guard. The National Guard will provide the following support.

  • establishing and staffing mass vaccination sites 
  • establishing and staffing mass vaccination targeted vaccination sites 
  • deploying administrative teams to assist local agencies and other providers with data backlogs 

While the National Guard will coordinate and deploy vaccination clinics, vaccine from local or regional providers will be used. The National Guard will not bring additional vaccine.

Vaccine Eligibility & Data FAQs

Eligibility

Question:  What tiers can be vaccinated?

Answer: All Missourians who are eligible under the EUA issued by the FDA are eligible on April 9, 2021. All persons that are eligible to receive vaccine may do so and it is not required that all earlier Tiers be fully vaccinated prior to opening other Tiers.

 

Question: How should we screen individuals for Phase eligibility? 

Answer: The state produced an optional attestation screening tool to assist providers in determining the eligibility of individuals in Phase 1B and beyond. This form is not mandatory and may be adapted as necessary to bolster a provider’s screening and consent process. 

 

Missouri Residency Requirements for Vaccination

Question: Is an established patient eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine through his or her Missouri-based primary care provider if such patient resides outside of Missouri?

Answer: No. Effective Feb. 19, 2021, only Missouri residents are eligible to receive the vaccine from their Missouri-based primary care providers. These doses are provided to these Missouri-based providers from the state of Missouri’s allocation from the federal government. The federal government allocates vaccine to each state based on population, therefore each state’s allocation reflects its own population. Non-Missouri residents must seek vaccination in their home state.

 

Question: Are Missouri vaccinators expected to cancel appointments for non-Missouri residents that were scheduled but have yet to receive a prime dose prior to the announcement of new guidelines?

Answer: Missouri vaccinators must complete any vaccinations for non-Missouri residents that were scheduled before Feb. 19, 2021, no later than March 1, 2021. Missouri-based vaccinators may not schedule new vaccinations with nonresidents.

 

Question: Can Missouri vaccinators vaccinate patients who qualify for vaccination due to their employment (i.e., a police officer who works in Missouri but lives in Illinois, or contract staff working in a Missouri health care facility)?

Answer: Yes, in certain situations. As noted in DHSS’ COVID-19 Vaccinator – Residency Status Guidance effective Feb. 19, 2021, certain employers may arrange a vaccination clinic on-site for their employees. It is assumed that these vaccination events generally are directed to a specific population at the facility, rather than the general public. To reduce the complexity of these situations, the state understands that non-Missourians may be included in these vaccination events. Vaccinators may vaccinate the population at these locations regardless of a person’s residency status. Adherence to the state’s priority phases is required. Thus, providers may vaccinate nonresidents in conjunction with an employer-coordinated vaccine clinic. Providers may not, however, vaccinate nonresidents who present themselves independently seeking vaccination due to their employment status.

 

Question: Can Missouri vaccinators administer a second dose to nonresidents who received their first dose before the residency guidance was issued?

Answer: Yes.

 

Data

MHA produced a COVID-19 Vaccination Data Requirement Crosswalk to provide a quick reference to determine which vaccine-related data elements are required, which are optional and where each should be reported.

Question: How do I account for additional doses (or too few doses) of the COVID-19 vaccine in ShowMe Vax?

Answer: To account for an unexpected number of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, complete an adjustment by following the steps below.

  1. Go to inventory, vaccines, on hand
  2. Click action button for the vaccine
  3. Select adjustment, reason is ‘extra’ or ‘insufficient amount’
  4. Enter doses, comment extra doses per vials or ‘insufficient doses per vial’
  5. Create. This will then update your current inventory on hand.

 

Question: Inventory on hand includes first and second doses — how does DHSS know the number of first doses on hand as inventory on hand through VaccineFinder includes both first and second doses?

Answer: DHSS is working on distinguishing prime doses older than 7 days and booster doses 7+ days past their administration due date. DHSS will not count “on-hand” until they finalize that data distinction.

 

Question: Is there a public-facing Missouri Vaccinator Map?

Answer: The state published a public-facing Missouri vaccinator map. Please review the information for your site(s) and send any updates to CovidVaccine@health.mo.gov. The state indicated there is no option to remove your site(s) from the map.

    • A phone number, contact person, email address and/or website address also may be added for each site.
    • Providing a phone number is very beneficial for those who may not have internet access or computer proficiency.
    • We highly encourage vaccinators to include a website address where the public can find detailed information regarding how to coordinate with your site.

If you have several sites, be sure to specify the exact physical address of the site for which you are providing information.

 

Question: What is the Missouri Vaccine Navigator?

Answer: The Missouri Vaccine Navigator is intended to help Missourians navigate the COVID-19 vaccination process. This tool may not capture every event, and the public is encouraged to engage with local public health officials and health care facilities to learn more.

 

Question:  Where do individuals go to find vaccination events in their area?

Answer: Events are listed by region, under the events section of www.MoStopsCOVID.com.

 

Question:  Can individuals without internet access use the Vaccine Navigator?

Answer: While individuals are encouraged to self-register with the Vaccine Navigator, DHSS staff are available to help those who need additional support through the COVID-19 hotline at 877-435-8441.

 

Question: How can a facility enroll in and use the Vaccine Navigator for vaccination events?

Answer: Organizations who wish to use the Vaccine Navigator need to contact Major Kristie Miller who will work to provide training, as well as usernames and passwords. For enrollment, the following information must be included.

  • name of the main point of contact
  • email of the main point of contact
  • region
  • brief information on the types of events (private/public) and when the first event will take place

 

Question: Is there training available for the Vaccine Navigator?

Answer: Live events are being scheduled as the need arises. In addition, the following recorded training sessions are available on YouTube.

 

Question: Can I use my facility’s registration system with Vaccine Navigator?

Answer: This use case currently is under development, and further availability will be communicated out to facilities.

 

Question: Does the Vaccine Navigator allow for private events?

Answer: The Vaccine Navigator does allow for the creation of private events. Vaccinators are encouraged to use public events, but private events can be created and are being used by vaccinators who have lists outside this system. An example of this feature is for second dose clinics. A private event code is sent to the vaccinator/event creator who is then responsible for sending that code out to the individuals they wish to vaccinate. The Vaccine Navigator is not able to contact those patients at this time.

VaccineFinder FAQs

Question: What is VaccineFinder?

Answer: For COVID-19 vaccine, VaccineFinder will be used by the federal government to track vaccine doses on hand. While VaccineFinder can be used by the public to find providers who offer select vaccines throughout the U.S., providers must ‘opt in’ for their location with this vaccine to be made publicly available.

 

Question: Am I required to enroll in VaccineFinder?

Answer: Yes, all providers who have received the vaccine must be enrolled in VaccineFinder. The only required component is COVID-19 Vaccine Inventory Reporting.

 

Question: How do I enroll in VaccineFinder?

Answer: After you enroll as a COVID-19 provider in ShowMeVax, an email to create an account to complete the registration will be sent to the provider organization’s email address submitted in the provider enrollment form. The email will be from vaccinefinder@auth.castlighthealth.com.

  • Do you know who is listed for your organization?
    • Please also check spam/junk folders for this email.
    • This is a personalized link that will expire in seven days.

 

Question: What if I haven’t been notified?

Answer: If you do not receive an email and have received the vaccine, please email eocevent522@cdc.gov for registration assistance.

 

Question: What inventory reporting requirements do I have?

Answer: Update vaccine inventory in VaccineFinder each day no later than midnight local time (federal requirement).

    • Mandate: Inventory reporting to CDC is required for all vaccinators beginning upon receipt of first vaccine shipment or receipt of redistributed vaccine. Public reporting of vaccine location is optional at this point.
    • VaccineFinder Support number: 1-855-886-4317

 

Question: What is the best internet browser to use to access VaccineFinder?

Answer: VaccineFinder is optimized in Chrome.

Resources

The following ShowMeVax inventory entry troubleshooting resources are available.

 

 

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