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National Infant Immunization Week

National Infant Immunization Week
April 24 – 30, 2022

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is a yearly observance highlighting the importance of protecting children two years and younger from vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs). This year, in particular, it’s critical to ensure that families stay on track for children’s routine checkups and recommended vaccinations following disruptions from COVID-19.

Research has consistently shown that healthcare professionals are the most trusted and influential source of vaccine information for parents. All staff in healthcare practices, including non-clinical staff, play important roles during NIIW.

To highlight childhood immunizations this NIIW:

Additional resources are available from the CDC:

Contact the Immunization Program!

Contact the Immunization Program!

The Immunization Program manages several email accounts to support providers and the public with immunization-related queries. Use this guide to determine who to contact based on the nature of your request: PhilaVax account support and technical issues (patient update requests, vaccine reporting questions, etc.) General inquiries. Medical provider assistance (Clinic Tools and inventory support, vaccine ordering and returns, reconciliation, staff changes, etc.) Vaccine storage and handling inquiries (temperature logs, storage units, DDL technical problems, etc.) COVID-19 clinic matchmaking (organizations seeking to be matched with providers for COVID-19 vaccine events). Vaccine orders and logistical inquiries (COVID-19 vaccine order status, vaccine transportation, transfer logs, etc.) COVID-19 provider enrollment, quality assurance, and vaccine expiration questions.

Prefer calling?

The following telephone and fax numbers are available for providers as well:

Storage and Handling
f 215.238.6948

215.685.6728 / 215.685.6667
f 215.238.6948

Thank you for keeping Philadelphia safe and healthy!

Adolescent Immunization Action Week

Adolescent Immunization Action Week

Adolescent Immunization Action Week gears up to get adolescents up to date on immunizations.

April 4 to April 8 is the first annual National Adolescent Immunization Action Week. Unity® Consortium launched this initiative to bring attention to the importance of adolescent immunization and to urge health care providers and parents to get adolescents up to date on recommended vaccines.

Research has consistently shown that healthcare professionals are the most trusted and influential source of vaccine information for parents.

Visit Unity’s AIAW campaign page for social media-ready materials and graphics you can use to communicate and draw attention to the importance of taking action now to improve adolescent immunization coverage.

Here are ideas to remind, recall, and schedule immunizations:

Together we can help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on adolescent immunization rates and help to prevent future outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.

Recommend HPV Vaccine at Every Visit!

Recommend HPV Vaccine at Every Visit!

During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a decrease in HPV doses administered in the United States.

Here in Philadelphia, there was a 29% decrease in the total number of HPV doses administered in 2020 compared to 2019. This decrease affected every eligible age group:

  • 9-13 year olds: HPV doses administered decreased by 17.5% from 2019 to 2020.
  • 13-17 year olds: HPV doses administered decreased by 41.7% from 2019 to 2020.
  • 18-26 year olds: HPV doses administered decreased by 53.7% from 2019 to 2020.

March 4 is International HPV Awareness Day!

To help bring HPV vaccination rates back to pre-pandemic levels, recommend HPV vaccine at every visit for 9-26 year olds who have not begun or completed their series. 

Register for this CME webinar on March 2 from 1-2pm EST! Dr. Danielle Casher (Attending Physician, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) will join cancer survivor Megan Lesar to discuss improving HPV vaccine rates in Pennsylvania.

On March 4, watch and share this video from the Association of Immunization Managers (AIM) to promote timely, complete HPV vaccination.

Steps to Recommend HPV Vaccine to Hesitant Parents


  • Your child is __ years old.
  • Today, they are eligible to receive Tdap, HPV, and MCV vaccine.
  • We will make sure they get all these shots to keep them safe and healthy.

If parent hesitates:

Connect and Counsel:

  • What’s your main concern?
  • Counsel using a research-tested method (ex.”Over 30,000 Americans get cancer from HPV every year. Most could be prevented with the HPV vaccine.”)

If parent declines:

Try Again

  • Almost 70% of parents who initially declined later agree to HPV vaccine or plan to vaccinate soon.




Have questions? Reach out to our team at Thank you for all that you do to keep Philadelphia safe and healthy!

Storage Unit Reminder

Storage Unit Reminder

Vaccines can only be stored in certain acceptable storage units. Your vaccine storage unit is a key component in maintaining the vaccine cold chain at your practice.

Your vaccine storage units must:

  • Consistently maintain storage temperature.
  • Have enough space to properly store vaccines throughout the year including back to school and flu season.
  • Have separate external doors for refrigerator and freezer.
  • Have Do Not Unplug stickers at the outlet, on unit, and on the circuit breaker.
  • Order Do Not Unplug stickers here.

All units must be plugged directly into a dedicated wall outlet. Units cannot be plugged into:

  • GFI/GFCI outlets (specialized outlets with a built-in breaker, may have reset buttons)
  • Outlets that can be activated by a wall switch
  • Extension cords, power strips, surge protectors
  • Ensure that the unit, plug, and circuit breaker on the electric panel are clearly labeled to prevent accidental loss of power.

Selecting a unit to store your vaccines in is an important decision.

Purchasing a unit that is reliable and accurate up-front is a worthwhile investment, both in time and money, for your practice. The time needed to respond to out of range temperatures and the cost of reimbursement for wasted vaccines can be very burdensome for practices whose unit does not maintain in-range temperatures.

To ensure that the unit that you are considering is the best option for your clinic, email our program at so that we can offer insight on the units that are being considered based on other providers experiences with a brand, the typical supply on hand at your practice, and other considerations based on the CDC recommendations for storage units.

Additional VFAAR Flu Vaccine Presentations Available to Order

Additional VFAAR Flu Vaccine Presentations Available to Order

These vaccines are now available to order for your adult patients:
  • Flucelvax prefilled syringes
  • Fluzone multidose vials
FluLaval pre-filled syringes are currently not available to order.Please visit our flu ordering page for more information on the available vaccines.To learn who is eligible to receive VFAAR flu this year, review our advisory from October 26.
Order flu vaccine today!

Have questions?

Contact Christine Wilson at 215.685.6728 or or Charma Miller at 215.685.6667 or for assistance.Thank you for keeping Philadelphia healthy by fighting flu! For more information about influenza in Philadelphia, visit our flu page.

Avoiding Administration Errors: Scheduling Errors

Avoiding Administration Errors: Scheduling Errors

Dear Immunization Provider,

The Immunization Program thanks you for your critical role of ensuring children in Philadelphia receive up-to-date immunizations prior to the school year!

To help you in your immunization efforts we have assembled some tips for avoiding one of the most common vaccine administration errors: scheduling errors!

What are Administration Errors?

Administration errors due to scheduling occur when vaccines are given too early – either before the appropriate minimum age or before the recommended interval for a particular vaccine.

Unfortunately, early doses are not valid. Minimum ages and dosing intervals have been studied for efficacy and safety. Administering vaccines out of this range may not generate an adequate immune response, leading to vulnerability to disease, side effects, or harm to the provider’s relationship with the patient/parent. It is in everyone’s best interest to avoid administration errors!

Exception: There is a 4-day grace period before the minimum interval or age, although this should not be used when scheduling visits. This does not apply to the 28-day interval between two live injectable vaccines (e.g. MMR, Varicella) or Flumist if not administered simultaneously, or intervals between the rabies vaccine.

Common Scheduling Errors

Here are some of the most common scheduling errors found when reviewing immunization histories and scheduling immunization appointments:

  • Administering the 1st dose of MMR, varicella, or hepatitis A vaccine before 12 months of age
  • Giving the 4th dose of DTap before age 12 months (or less than 6 months after the 3rd dose)
  • Not administering a dose of IPV after 4 years of age (at least 6 months after previous dose)
  • Finishing the hepatitis B series before 24 weeks of age
  • Administering any vaccine (except hepatitis B) before age 6 weeks
  • Giving the 2nd dose of MenACWY vaccine before age 16 years for a healthy adolescent
  • Inadequate spacing for the hepatitis A, hepatitis B, IPV and HPV series
  • Using the incorrect needle size
  • Injecting vaccine at the incorrect injection site
  • Confusing Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis) and DTap (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis) vaccines

Tips from the Immunization Program

Here is a list of tips to find past administration errors and avoid them going forward:

  • Keep an immunization schedule handy for clinical and office staff!
  • When scheduling well-child visits, ensure a child will have reached the appropriate age (e.g., will be at least 12 months on the date of their 1-year well-child visit).
  • Review the patient’s immunization record, by searching the PhilaVax IIS or by obtaining the patient’s vaccination records by contacting their previous healthcare provider.
  • Use the tools in PhilaVax to understand what is indicated for the patient.
    • A red exclamation mark means that a dose is not valid.
    • Click “Recommend” below a patient’s record to see when vaccines are recommended.

Did you know? You can update your PhilaVax settings so recommended vaccines display at the top of your screen when reviewing patient records. Follow the steps below and reference the screenshots to do it yourself!

  1. Click your username in the upper right-hand corner (see screenshot 1)
  2. Under “User Defaults,” click “Display Today’s Recommendations” (see screenshot 2)
  3. Click “Update” to save the change (see screenshot 2)

screenshot 1
screenshot 1

screenshot 2
screenshot 2


What do I do if an Administration Error Happens?

  • Check for guidance from the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Make a report to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS)
    • Recommended if a dose administration error occurs (required for a COVID-19 vaccine under Emergency Use Authorization)
    • Required if an adverse event occurs

Have questions about vaccine scheduling or the PhilaVax software? The Philadelphia Immunization Program is here to help! You can email us at for assistance.

Resources & References

COVID-19 Vaccine Ordering Deadline

COVID-19 Vaccine Ordering Deadline 

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) Immunization Program would like to remind COVID-19 providers that the deadline to order COVID-19 vaccine is Wednesday at 5pm for orders placed both through Philavax and Orders placed after the deadline will not be processed.

Vaccine orders are delivered on the following Tuesday or Wednesday; please plan accordingly for upcoming clinics.

Quick Steps to Order:

Going forward, the Immunization Program will not process any orders that do not have a closed reconciliation and submitted temperatures by Wednesday at 5PM.

If you have questions, please reach out to

Did Your Patient Receive a COVID-19 Vaccination Outside the United States?

Did Your Patient Receive a COVID-19 Vaccination Outside the United States?

Have questions? The “People vaccinated outside the United States” section of the CDC’s Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines provides guidance on different scenarios.

Talk to your patient and gather the initial information:

  1. Which COVID-19 vaccine did the patient receive?
  2. Is the COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO)?
  3. Did your patient complete a full series of this COVID-19 vaccine (e.g. receive both doses if two doses are recommended)?

Guidelines as of 7/15/21:

US FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty, Tozinameran; mRNA nucleoside modified) – 2 doses
  • Moderna (Spikevax; mRNA nucleoside modified) – 2 doses
  • Johnson & Johnson / Janssen (Ad26.COV2-S recombinant) – 1 dose

COVID-19 vaccines listed for emergency use by the WHO:

  • US FDA-authorized vaccines above
  • AstraZeneca-Oxford (Covishield, Vaxzevria; ChAdOx1-S recombinant) – 2 doses
  • Sinopharm (Vero Cell inactivated) – 2 doses
  • Sinovac (Vero Cell inactivated) – 2 doses

See the table below for a summary of recommendations for patients who received a COVID-19 vaccination outside of the US:


Thank you for keeping Philadelphia safe and healthy! If you have any questions, please email

MenQuadfi (MenACYW-TT), a New Meningococcal Vaccine, is Now Available for VFC

MenQuadfi (MenACYW-TT), a New Meningococcal Vaccine, is Now Available for VFC

To download a PDF version of this PDF, click here!

In 2020, the Food and Drug Administration licensed an additional meningococcal serogroups A, C, W, and Y (MenACWY) – MenQuadfi
(MenACYW-TT), from Sanofi Pasteur Inc.

MenQuadfi is now available for providers enrolled in the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. This advisory includes an overview
of important information about MenQuadfi.

MenQuadfi is licensed for use in individuals 2 years and older in the United States.

Recommendations For Use

Eligible Groups for Receipt of VFC Supplies of MenQuadfi

VFC supplies of MenQuadfi may be given to VFC-eligible children aged 2 years through 18 years.

Licensed Dosing Schedule

MenQuadfi is for intramuscular use only.

MenQuadfi is approved for routine vaccination of children and teens, age 11 through 18 years: a single dose at age 11 or 12 years with a booster dose at age 16 years.

MenQuadfi may also be used for children at increased risk who are age 2 years and older (the primary dosing schedule and booster dose interval varies by age and indication):

  • People with functional or anatomic asplenia
  • People who have persistent complement component deficiency (an immune system disorder) or who take a complement inhibitor (eculizumab [Soliris] or ravulizumab [Ultomiris])
  • People who have HIV infection
  • People who are at risk during an outbreak caused by a vaccine serogroup
  • People age 2 months and older who reside in or travel to certain countries in sub-Saharan Africa as well as to other countries for which meningococcal vaccine is recommended (e.g., travel to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, for the annual Hajj)
  • Microbiologists who work with meningococcus bacterial isolates in a laboratory
  • First-year college students living in residence halls who are unvaccinated or undervaccinated; these students should receive a dose if they have not had a dose since turning 16 or if it has been more than 5 years since their previous dose

These recommendations are summarized in Table 3 of the recommendations published by ACIP in MMWR in 2020:

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that whenever feasible, the same manufacturer’s brand should be used to complete the series. However, if the previous brand is unavailable or unknown, any brand may be used to complete the series. Do not defer immunization solely to wait for a specific meningococcal vaccine brand to be available. From age 2 years and up the MenACWY vaccines are interchangeable.


  • MenQuadfi should be stored at 2º to 8ºC (36º to 46ºF). Do not freeze. Product which has been exposed to freezing should not be used. Do not use after the expiration date shown on the label.

How MenQuadfi is supplied

  • MenQuadfi is supplied in a single-dose vial in packages of 5 vials (NDC No. 49281-0590-05). The dosage for MenQuadfi is 0.5 mL. MenQuadfi does not contain a preservative. The vial stopper for this product is not made with natural latex rubber.

Ordering and Billing

MenQuadfi is available for ordering through the PhilaVax IIS as of today, June 8, 2021. Please contact Christine Wilson ( or Charma Miller ( to add MenQuadfi to your next order. Please note, your practice must choose a single product to order for each antigen. We recommend that sites that are part of a system, or are affiliated, use the same vaccine presentations across sites to ensure continuity of care and help prevent administration errors.

  • CVX code: 203
  • CPT code: 90619