The Philadelphia Vaccines for Children (VFC)/ Vaccines for Adults at Risk (VFAAR) annual re-enrollment period is now open!
Sites enrolled in VFC and/or VFAAR must submit a re-enrollment form by June 30th in order to continue to participate in these programs. Follow these 3 easy steps, for a smooth re-enrollment!
1. Complete this survey Your answers will help us better support you throughout the next year. A submission is required to complete re-enrollment for your site.
2. Update Clinic Tools Update the information indicated for your site in the Clinic Tools, Clinic Information module. Use these job aids to guide you through making needed changes to the clinic tools page:
The vaccine coordinator and medical director must log into the PhilaVax IIS to access, complete and sign the electronic re-enrollment form. If you have not completed the 2023 User Confidentiality Agreement to renew your account or do not have a PhilaVax user account, use the link below to complete it now.
Vaccine Temperature Monitoring: New Paper Temperature Logs Available
To ensure that the vaccine at your site is viable when administered to patients, consistent temperature monitoring is an important part of participating in the program. Our program requires sites to maintain active and passive monitoring. The passive monitoring is recorded by the Digital Date Logger (DDL) and reported to our program regularly. The active monitoring is recorded on the paper temperature logs.
Starting this week providers can now order COVID vaccine through PhilaVax any day of the week. A closed reconciliation and most recent temperatures are still required to be submitted with an order for approval.
Partial orders through Monday.com will continue to be due Wednesdays by 5pm. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding the new ordering guidelines.
The vaccine information statements (VIS) for hepatitis B and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) including Prevnar 13, Vaxneuvance, and Prevnar 20 have been updated. Access the updated documents below:
The public health emergency declaration for COVID-19 recently ended on May 11. In the past year, there have been major updates to COVID-19 vaccine recommendations. Here are the highlights:
May 5, 2022 – FDA Limits Use of Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine to Certain Individuals
Summary: The FDA limited the authorized use of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine to adults for whom other authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccines are not accessible or clinically appropriate, and to adults who elect to receive the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine because they would otherwise not receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
July 13, 2022 – FDA Authorizes Emergency Use of Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanted
Summary: The FDA issued an EUA for the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, adjuvanted for the prevention of COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in adults.
April 18, 2023 – FDA Authorizes Changes to Simplify Use of Bivalent mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines
Summary: Current bivalent vaccines (original and omicron BA.4/BA.5 strains) have been authorized to be used for all doses administered to individuals 6 months of age and older, including for an additional dose or doses for certain populations. The monovalent Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines are no longer authorized for use in the United States.
CDC recommends that people ages 6 months and older receive at least 1 bivalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
Everyone aged 6 years and older should get 1 updated Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to be up to date.
For those with most types of private insurance, COVID-19 vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will be covered without co-pay when provided by an in-network provider.
For people with Medicare, COVID-19 vaccinations will continue to be covered under Medicare Part B without cost sharing. Medicare Advantage plans will also continue to cover COVID-19 vaccinations in-network without cost sharing.
For people who have Medicaid, COVID-19 vaccinations will continue to be covered without co-pay or cost sharing through September 30, 2024, and will generally cover ACIP-recommended vaccines for most beneficiaries thereafter.
Through the “Bridge” Program, people who are uninsured will continue to be able to access COVID-19 vaccine at no cost.
The Philadelphia Vaccines for Children (VFC)/ Vaccines for Adults at Risk (VFAAR) annual re-enrollment period will take place June 1 – 30, 2023. For the fourth year, the enrollment will be done electronically through PhilaVax.
To get your site ready for re-enrollment, complete these steps now.
1. Update Clinic Tools Review the information indicated for your site the Clinic Tools, Clinic Information module. Use these job aids to guide you though making needed updates to the clinic’s:
2. Make sure you have the access to PhilaVax you need. The vaccine coordinators and medical director must log into the PhilaVax IIS to access, complete and sign the electronic re-enrollment form. If you have not completed the 2023 User Confidentiality Agreement to renew your account or do not have a PhilaVax user account, use the link below to complete it now.
If you have a PhilaVax account and need to update your password, you can email PhilaVax@phila.gov for assistance.
Additional information and instructions will be communicated closer to the start of the re-enrollment period. Re-enrollment is a requirement for the VFC/VFAAR programs. Failure to complete the re-enrollment form will result in un-enrollment.
J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine Expiration May 6, 2023
This is a reminder that all remaining doses of J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in the United States will expire on May 6, 2023. All channels should prepare to clear their COVID-19 vaccine inventory of J&J/Janssen and discontinue further administration of this vaccine.
The administration of expired vaccines continues to be a significant issue based on VAERS reporting. You can help prevent these errors by ensuring J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is removed from your storage units and disposing of it according to state and local regulations.
Protecting Infants from Vaccine Preventable Diseases
National Infant Immunizations Week is April 24 to April 30 this year, serving as a reminder to protect infants in Philadelphia from vaccine preventable diseases.
Over the years, immunization providers in the United States have reached major milestones in protecting infants through vaccines. Through immunization, we can now protect infants and children from 15 vaccine-preventable diseases before age 2.
There are important updates to COVID-19 immunization recommendations for infants:
Previously unvaccinated: Children 6 months through 5 years of age who are unvaccinated may receive a two-dose series of the Moderna bivalent vaccine (6 months through 5 years of age) OR a three-dose series of the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent vaccine (6 months through 4 years of age).
Previously vaccinated:Children 6 months through 4 years who previously completed their full two- or three-dose monovalent Moderna/Pfizer COVID-19 primary vaccination series are now recommended to receive a dose of Moderna/Pfizer’s updated (bivalent) COVID-19 vaccine.
Children 6 months through 5 years of age who have received one, two, or three doses of a monovalent COVID-19 vaccine should receive a bivalent vaccine, but the number of doses that they receive will depend on the vaccine and their vaccination history.
Healthy People 2030
Philadelphia immunization providers have made measurable progress in infant immunization coverage. However, immunization rates fell during the COVID-19 pandemic, and have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.
In Philadelphia, vaccination coverage with 4 doses of the DTaP vaccine in children between 0 and 2 years old was around 84% in 2021.
Healthy People 2030 objective IID-06 is: Increase the coverage level of 4 doses of the DTaP vaccine in children by age 2 years. The target for this objective is 90%.
Philadelphia providers have an opportunity to increase immunization coverage for this metric to reach or exceed the target by 2030.
In addition to increasing DTaP vaccine coverage, Philadelphia providers can improve infant immunization coverage by focusing on addressing disparities.
Local data shows that influenza vaccination coverage among infants was lowest at 55.8% among the lowest income group in the data set, as compared with 84.3% among the highest income group in the set. In addition, influenza vaccination coverage was 61.2% among Black infants and 61.9% among Hispanic infants, as compared with 73.8% among white infants.
Rotavirus coverage was 65.7% among the lowest income group, as compared with 87.1% among the highest income group. Rotavirus coverage was 70.3% among Black infants and 69.8% among Hispanic infants, as compared with 84.1% among white infants.
Preexisting social determinants of health such as economic burden, lack of transportation, and lower rate of insurance coverage contribute to these disparities. However, immunization providers can use multiple strategies to close the gaps in vaccination coverage.
Strategies to increase vaccination rates among Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native communities include strongly recommending flu vaccination and making culturally appropriate vaccine recommendations (e.g. using materials with images representative of those in the community, addressing community-specific concerns and misinformation, and using the predominant language spoken in the community, such as Spanish).
Providers can also work toward increasing vaccination coverage among low-income populations by using evidence-based strategies such as immunization reminders, standing orders to provide vaccination whenever appropriate, and immunization information systems. Additionally, review immunization schedules with parents at the child’s first visit to show vaccines that are upcoming.
Improving communication between providers and patients is crucial to increasing immunization coverage among infants in your office.
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.
We wanted to share some new resources with you from our team and the CDC. In addition to the digital resources linked below, we mailed out some great materials. Look for them in your mailbox this week!
Looking for the most up to date immunization news? We got you!