COVID-19 Vaccine Information & Other COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Vaccination Information

Most Recent Updates

From AHS- VDH Immunization Program - August 25th, 2021 

COVID-19 Vaccine Ordering Frequency

They are anticipating a staffing decrease at the Vaccine Depot. Please be mindful of storage and expiration considerations when placing orders and consolidate orders as much as possible. Please try to order enough vaccines to last your practice 3-4 weeks. Orders should be placed on Wednesdays (when needed) after weekly reconciliation. Delivery will be scheduled for the following week.

Additionally, where possible, consolidated orders and transfers within your broader organization are preferred. See Receipt and Management of COVID-19 Vaccine and COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Hubs for more information.

The Immunization Program now has vaccine carriers available to borrow, which may make this transfer process easier for your organization if you do decide to manage vaccines in this way. Please see the NEW Vaccine Carrier Borrowing Program guide for more information.

The Vaccine Depot will deliver vaccines to your practice or organization in whichever way you prefer, and you should continue to order vaccines as needed to serve your patient population. Apart from the Janssen vaccine, which is still limited, there is no concern with vaccine availability.

Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Expiration Extension

The FDA has approved an amendment to the EUA for Pfizer-BioNTech extending the expiration dates of COVID-19 Vaccine stored in ultra-cold from six to nine months. The currently available vaccine will not have an updated NCD. Please refer to the current EUA Fact Sheet for information.

  • Cartons and vials of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine with an expiry date of August 2021 through February 2022 printed on the label may remain in use for 3 months beyond the printed date (see chart below) as long as authorized storage conditions between -90°C to -60°C have been maintained. (NOTE: the ultracold temperature range has broadened to include -90°C)

Printed Expiry Date

Updated Expiry Date

August 2021

November 2021

September 2021

December 2021

October 2021

January 2022

November 2021

February 2022

December 2021

March 2022

January 2022

April 2022

February 2022

May 2022

  • The 3-month extension is only for ultracold storage. Frozen vials stored at -25°C to -15°C are viable for 2 weeks, and refrigerated vials stored at (2°C to 8°C) for an additional 31 days. Once removed from the ultracold, Pfizer must be used within 45 days.
  • If a vaccine was removed from ultracold sometime in mid-August, with a BUD beyond original expiration, the BUD date should be honored.
    • For example, a vaccine with a printed expiration date of 08/31 taken out of the ultracold on 08/07 is good until 09/07.
  • The extension ALSO applies to previously expired products that have been kept in ultracold storage. COVID-19 vaccine stability data is still being collected, and expiration dates may be updated again. If you have a COVID-19 vaccine you believe has expired, do NOT remove it from appropriate storage, mark the vaccine DO NOT USE, and contact the Immunization Program for more guidance.

Pfizer-BioNTech Full FDA approval

  • On Monday, August 23, 2021, FDA approved COMIRNATY (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) for use as a two-dose series for individuals 16 years of age and older. It can also be used under the EUA to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 12 through 15 years, and provide a third dose to individuals 12 years of age and older who have been determined to have certain kinds of immunocompromise.
  • The FDA-approved Pfizer-BioNTech product COMIRNATY (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) and the FDA-authorized Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine under EUA have the same formulation. They can be used interchangeably to provide the COVID-19 vaccination series without presenting any safety or effectiveness concerns.
  • Providers can use doses distributed under the EUA to administer the vaccination series for those seeking the approved vaccine.
  • The Fact Sheet for Recipients provides additional information about both the approved and authorized vaccine. Providers should continue to use the vaccines on their shelves.
  • The projected date of any new configuration is October. The Immunization Program will provide more information on this change and resources as they are made available.

August 17, 2021 - Boosters Approved for Immunocompromised and Considered for General Population

On Friday, the FDA authorized and the CDC recommended that certain immunocompromised Americans should receive a third dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The recommendation directs patients to first consult with their health care clinician regarding whether they are considered moderately to severely immunocompromised and lists these medical conditions as those that would make a patient eligible for a third dose:Receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the bloodReceived an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune systemReceived a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune systemModerate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)Advanced or untreated HIV infectionActive treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune responseThe FDA authorization and CDC recommendation only applies to those who have received the mRNA vaccines, as there is not enough evidence to determine whether an additional dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine would provide similar protection for immunocompromised people at this time. Vermont Department of Health Commissioner Mark Levine sent a letter to Vermont clinicians on Saturday urging them to do their best to meet the additional vaccine demand from their immunocompromised patients, citing their increased vulnerability to more severe outcomes from the virus and the increased the risk of transmissibility of the delta variant for vaccinated individuals. The letter also said that those who are immunocompromised are the only patients authorized for a third dose at this time. As early as Sunday, it was reported that the Biden Administration has decided that all eligible Americans should receive a booster eight months after they received their second shot, and depending on FDA authorization, they could begin offering the third doses of Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccines by mid-September. Authorization of a second dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is dependent on the results of their current two-dose clinical trial. Distribution will likely start with nursing home residents, health care workers and emergency workers. At Tuesday’s Scott Administration press conference, there were no major changes announced in Vermont policy and officials emphasized that current mitigations measures are sufficient given Vermont’s high vaccination rate and low hospitalization rates. See notes from the press conference here.On Monday, August 23, 2021 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm the White House COVID-19 Response Team is inviting all health care providers to join a White House Virtual Conversation on "Health Systems, Providers, and the COVID-19 Vaccinations Effort." Click here for more information.Please click the following link during the event to attend: Codes: Effective August 12, 2021, CMS will pay to administer additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines consistent with the FDA EUAs, using CPT codes: 0003A for the Pfizer vaccine and CPT code 0013A for the Moderna vaccine. The pay for an additional dose will be the same as the other doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

June 8, 2021

State Invites All Primary Care Practices to Administer COVID-19 Vaccine

The Vermont Department of Health Immunization Program has announced that all Vermont primary care practices are now eligible to order the COVID-19 vaccine for administration to their patient population beginning June 21st. Practices must be enrolled as COVID-19 vaccine sites, and the primary vaccine contact is required to complete a training before they can order the vaccine. The trainings are available starting the week of June 14th and practices should email to register. The Immunization program is developing a system for practices to be able to order smaller quantities of vaccine, but says practices should expect experience higher levels of vaccine waste. See the Minimizing Waste Policy for more guidance. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine enrollment process, please check out the COVID-19 Vaccine Enrollment Process Guide and FAQs and the VDH Vaccine Information for Health Professional website. For hospital-based practices, vaccine administration is being coordinated between the Department of Health and your hospital and not all primary care practices may become vaccine sites – contact your hospital administration for more information.