COVID-19 Provider Portal
Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Product Updates: Multiple Dose Vial – Six Doses
What you need to know:
- Minimum Pfizer orders moved from 975 to 1170 doses.
- The NDC for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine did not change.
- Dose count change will not be applied to inventory on hand in GRITS prior to February 16, 2021.
- Shipments received after February 16th will be entered in inventory as a six-dose vial instead of five.
If faced with a vial only containing 5 doses, providers will need to ‘waste’ the 6th dose using the reason of “Lost or unaccounted for - Fewer than nominal doses in multi-dose vial (Fewer than nominal doses extracted from multiple dose vial.)” GRITS wastage instructions can be found.
After dilution, vials of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine contain up to six doses of 0.3 mL of vaccine. Low dead-volume syringes and/or needles can be used to extract six doses from a single vial. If standard syringes and needles are used, there may not be sufficient volume to extract a sixth dose from a single vial. Irrespective of the type of syringe and needle:
- Each dose must contain 0.3 mL of vaccine.
- If the amount of vaccine remaining in the vial cannot provide a full dose of 0.3 mL, discard the vial and any excess volume.
Do not pool excess vaccine from multiple vials.
Remember to populate race and ethnicity data for individuals receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Providers are not required to hold supply in reserve for second doses. For example, if you received 100 doses and administered 50 doses, continue to administer the remaining 50 doses to new patients who meet the Phase 1-A+ criteria. Providers must place orders for second doses.
Vaccine providers with available vaccine should vaccinate members of the community meeting any of the Phase 1-A+ criteria, not just those within their own staff or facility. Due to limited vaccine supply availability, unless they are in one of the above populations, spouses and family members are not eligible for vaccine administration at this time. The Georgia Department of Public Health will notify COVID vaccine providers when to move to the next phase. Moving to additional phases without approval from DPH is a violation of the vaccine provider agreement.
Georgia employees who meet the Phase 1-A+ eligibility but do not have permanent residence in-state are still eligible to receive vaccination from an enrolled COVID-19 vaccine provider in Georgia.
Residents are not required to visit the District Health Centers for their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. They may obtain their second doses at the same facility/provider where they obtained their first dose.
Please text COVIDGAHCP to 77297 for provider updates and COVIDGAGEN to 77297 for general updates.
GRITS and Reporting
Call (866) 483-2958 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if updates are needed to your GRITS information. Remember, providers must establish and enforce accountability measures related to vaccine distribution. Your orders are dependent on available supply allocation for Georgia and your timely and accurate reporting of inventory and doses administered in GRITS. As required by Georgia law and your vaccine provider agreement these immunizations must be reported within 24 hours of administration. Late or forgone reporting puts provider supply at risk. If you are not using GRITS or are having difficulty navigating the system, staff are available to assist Monday - Friday, 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. EST by calling the telephone number or emailing the address listed above.
“Why isn’t my COVID inventory deducting?”
Please ensure that you meet the following guidelines:
- Inventory: Doses on hand must be recorded within the system BEFORE administration records are sent.
- Inventory Deduction Function: A GRITS analyst will need to ‘turn on’ the inventory deduction function for your data exchange/interface.
- New Immunization: Sending records as a historical dose will not link the dose to your facility in the system. The record will only deduct if it is recorded as a new immunization.
- Eligibility: The eligibility of the patient must be sent as a V07 – COVID Specific. Any other eligibility code (V01 - Privately Insured, V03 - No Insurance, etc.) will cause your inventory to not deduct.
Once all these things are in place, your inventory will successfully deduct. Let us know if you have any issues: GRITSCOVIDTECHHELP@dph.ga.gov
“What are Pending Records?”
Records are held in a pending status when GRITS is unable to determine if it has found a patient match in the system. These records are NOT entered on a patient’s account until instructions are given for them to be merged (if the patient is the same) or processed separately (if they are not the same patients). If your organization has pending files related to the administration of COVID-19 vaccines, please contact the GRITS Help Desk. This is necessary to account for administered vaccines and keep accurate counts. Please take the time to address your pending files, as failure to do so can result in “non-reporting” of your administered COVID-19 vaccines, which will be considered as non-compliance per CDC guidelines.
New Vaccine Allocations Process
The GA DPH COVID-19 vaccine allocation process has been updated to employ a more data driven approach. As the number of providers continue to expand and as we progress toward future phases, the process for allocating vaccines will grow in complexity. This new process seeks to accelerate our allocation process and take into account more factors (provider vaccine inventory, provider vaccine administration, provider orders/requests, and demographics) as we move forward. The new process will rely on a methodical approach to take each week’s CDC allocation and distribute these vaccines to providers utilizing data and technology along with a final review of the distribution results by GA DPH to ensure equity. To help us in this process, it is essential that providers submit order requests (into Survey Monkey) and administration data (into GRITS) in a timely and accurate manner. We are looking forward to working together to efficiently and fairly distribute the vaccine to the residents of Georgia.
*New allocation will depend on doses allocated from CDC.*
Vaccine Requests and Delivery Timeline
In order to assist with designating first dose shipments and second dose shipments:
- Vaccine requests submitted to CDC on Fridays are first dose.
- Vaccine requests submitted to Sunday are second doses.
If the vaccine order date is not available:
- Monday deliveries should be considered first dose.
- Tuesday deliveries may include both first and second dose request.
- Wednesday deliveries should be considered second dose.
Storage and Shipping
Clinics that have ultra-cold storage units have an option to opt-out of receiving additional dry ice shipments. Please respond to Kaleisha Blount (Kaleisha.Blount@dph.ga.gov) or Ben Sloat (Ben.Sloat@dph.ga.gov) with your PINs if you no longer want to receive dry ice shipments; the CDC system VTRCKS will then be updated.
Vaccine storage unit temperatures must be monitored regularly and recorded at the start of each workday. Always record minimum/maximum temperature, date, time, name of person checking/recording temperature, and actions taken if a temperature excursion occurred. Temperature records must be kept for a minimum of three years or longer if required by your jurisdiction.
Canceling a Vaccine Request
Providers should not contact Pfizer or Moderna to cancel a vaccine request. If a provider is not able to store a vaccine delivery, they should immediately notify the Georgia Immunization Program by calling 404 657-3158 and also notify their local health department. Public health staff will work to locate a facility where the vaccine can be transferred. The facility that initially requested the vaccine should accept the shipment. Do not open the shipping container. The vaccine should be kept in a secure location until it can be picked up and moved to another location.
The ACIP updated the Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Authorized in the United States. A summary of recent changes (last updated February 10, 2021) can be found here.
Summary of recent changes:
- New recommendations for preventing, reporting, and managing mRNA COVID-19 vaccine administration errors (in Appendix A).
- Clarification on contraindications and precautions.
- Updated information on delayed, local injection-site reactions after the first mRNA vaccine dose. These reactions are neither a contraindication nor precaution to the second dose.
- Updated quarantine recommendations for vaccinated persons.
- Additional information and updated recommendations for testing for TB infection.
Cash Payment for Vaccination
The CDC has provided clearer guidance regarding providers asking individuals for a cash payment for the administration of COVID-19 vaccine. Per CDC it is not allowable to request a payment from the client receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. More information can be found here.
All organizations and providers participating in the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program:
- Must administer COVID-19 vaccine regardless of the vaccine recipient's ability to pay COVID-19 vaccine administration fees or coverage status.
- May seek appropriate reimbursement from a program or plan that covers COVID-19 vaccine administration fees for the vaccine recipient.
- May not seek any reimbursement, including through balance billing, from the vaccine recipient.
For additional information on filing claims for reimbursement of COVID-19 vaccine administration fees, go to:
Healthcare personnel can use this CDC tool to receive personalized health check-ins after they receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and should encourage all COVID-19 vaccine recipients to participate. V-safe also provides second vaccine dose reminders if needed, and telephone follow-up to anyone who reports medically significant adverse events.
Sign up for SMS COVID-19 alerts!
The Georgia Department of Public Health is partnering with the Georgia Poison Center and PunchAlert to provide you with the latest alerts, information, and recommendations from Public Health. PunchAlert is free and allows you to receive instant updates regarding COVID-19. Text COVIDGAHCP to 77297 for provider updates and COVIDGAGEN to 77297 for general updates.
Use the COVID-19 Vaccine Locator on the DPH website. The tool allows users to search by county for a vaccine provider in their community and provides location and contact information for the provider. Providers should consider carefully what contact information they submit to DPH to be published in the Vaccine Locator. Phone numbers and emails will generate hundreds of responses, so for that reason we recommend only providing a website address or online scheduler if you are not prepared for the influx of calls and emails.
COVID-19 Vaccine Management System (VMS) Launch
A new system for COVID-19 vaccine management referred to as VMS has been launched. VMS is a secure solution for COVID inventory management, vaccine ordering, and doses administered reporting. VMS streamlines processes for the entire vaccine lifecycle.. Please click here to access the available e-learning module and to access and download a user guide on the entire system. You can also for a user guide on VMS Reports, a feature you’re able to access in the system. If you have any questions, please reach out to the COVID-19 mailbox at DPH-COVID19vaccine@dph.ga.gov.
Learning and Education
Provider webinars will be held on Thursday, February 25, March 4, March 11, March 18, and March 25 at 1:00 P.M.
IAC Ask Experts Q&A
IAC recently created its Ask the Experts: COVID-19 web page to answer questions about the administration of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use by the FDA and recommended by CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. This Ask the Experts web page also provides links to CDC web pages for guidance. The Ask the Experts: COVID-19 web page will grow with more Q&As as additional information becomes available and whenever new vaccines are authorized for use.
Understanding mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines
There is no data on the impact of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines on either the tuberculin skin test (TST) (administered by intradermal placement of 0.1 cc of purified protein derivative) or the interferon gamma release assay (IGRA). There is no immunologic reason to believe that a TST or blood draw for IGRA will impact the effectiveness of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. Please refer to this ‘COVID mRNA vaccines, TST, and IGRA’ letter for additional information.
CDC Web On-Demand
CDC created new, web-on-demand, self-paced COVID-19 Vaccine Training Modules for Healthcare Professionals who will be administering Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines. These modules will provide information to healthcare professionals about COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by Moderna, Inc. and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals based on the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and guidance from the manufacturer. The target audience includes: Administrators, CHES certified health educators, Physicians, Epidemiologists, LPNs, LVNs, Medical assistants, medical students, NPs, nurse technicians, other health educators, Pharmacists, PAs, program managers RNs. Continuing Education (CE) credits are also available.
Preparing for the Potential Management of Anaphylaxis at COVID-19 Vaccination Sites – Locations administering COVID-19 vaccines should adhere to this CDC guidance for use of COVID-19 vaccines, including screening recipients for contraindications and precautions, having the necessary supplies available to manage anaphylaxis, implementing the recommended post-vaccination observation periods, and immediately treating suspected cases of anaphylaxis with intramuscular injection of epinephrine.