On August 23rd, the FDA awarded full authorization to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (now known as Comirnaty) for all people ages 16+. The vaccine continues to be available under Emergency Use Authorization for people 12 through 15 years and for the administration of a third dose for certain immunocompromised individuals.
How can you help promote vaccine?
- 85% of people trust their healthcare provider most for information about COVID-19 vaccine.
- Help people find their own vaccination motivation.
- Make COVID-19 vaccine a new vital sign. Ask every patient what their vaccination plan is. If they are unsure:
- Help schedule an appointment and make reminder calls for appointments.
- Correct misinformation and share resources you trust.
- Say things like “The vaccines are highly effective at preventing illness. 97% of new cases are among those unvaccinated
Be direct. Make a clear recommendation to get vaccinated.
- “This vaccine is especially important for you because of your job function/underlying health condition/family exposure risk.”
Address concerns about side effects.
- “Severe side effects are rare and treatable. Minor side effects usually go away within a few days.”
- “The FDA and CDC will continue to monitor the vaccines for safety to make sure that even very rare side effects are identified.”
Are your patients 12+? Encourage them to be vaccinated.
Use DOH’s vaccine locator tool to find vaccine providers near you.
Everyone 12 years or older is eligible to get COVID-19 vaccine.
- Pfizer vaccine is authorized for people 12 years or older.
- Moderna vaccine is authorized for people 18 years or older.
- Johnson & Johnson is again authorized for people 18 years or older.
Don’t have COVID-19 vaccine? How to connect patients.
Direct patients to vaccine locator.
Refer patients who do not have internet access or need help navigating resources to:
- DOH COVID-19 assistance hotline at (800) 525-0127, then press #.
Help people find their vaccine record.
- Refer to MyIR Mobile if they can read English and have internet access and skills.
- Refer to the DOH call center at (800) 525-0127 if they prefer a different language or don’t have internet access or skills.
- Supply them with a WA IIS or electronic health record printout if other options don’t work.
Want to administer COVID-19 vaccine? Enroll now.
If you want to administer COVID-19 vaccine, enroll now through Washington State Department of Health (DOH):
To request a COVID-19 Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) consultation follow the CDC directions.
Providers can now give COVID-19 vaccine simultaneous with or within any number of days of other vaccines. Providers no longer need to use 95% of their COVID-19 vaccine within 7 days.
Have excess vaccine? Use our vaccine marketplace”
- System to help ensure providers use extra doses of vaccine.
- Located in WA Immunization Information System (IIS).
- Advertise extra doses close to expiration that you can’t use, so other providers can.
- Check before placing weekly vaccine orders.
- Step by step instructions on how to access and use the advertisement system.
Three vaccines are approved for use to prevent COVID-19 disease in the United States:
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine:two doses 3 weeks (21 days) apart
- Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine:two doses 1 month (28 days) apart
- Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine—one dose.
The ACIP and Western States have authorized third mRNA COVID-19 vaccine doses to people who are moderately and severely immunocompromised and received mRNA COVID-19 vaccines for their original series. While the health department is awaiting state Standing Orders, we are referring patients to their providers to access this third dose.
Following a thorough safety review weighing the benefits and risks, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend the ongoing use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine under a revised emergency use authorization (EUA). ACIP recommended the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) include a warning statement and Johnson & Johnson include an information sheet at vaccination informing people about the increased risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS).
If a patient is concerned about the increased risk associated with J&J vaccine, offer Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.
See interim clinical considerations for use of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized in the US from the CDC for administration, patient counseling, and other details.
See interim clinical considerations for viral adenovirus vector vaccines.
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines use a different mechanism than the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines use mRNA technology to deliver genetic code allowing for the creation of spike protein. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses double-stranded DNA to transmit the virus’s genetic instructions for building the spike protein.
Myocarditis and pericarditis following COVID-19 vaccination
On May 17, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vaccine Safety Technical Subgroup reported a few cases of myocarditis and pericarditis among people who received COVID-19 mRNA vaccine. No similar reporting pattern is observed after receiving Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine. Local and national investigations continue. Of cases reported in Washington, 90% are males under 30 years. Those who presented for care, promptly improved after treatment and rest. Disease onset occurs more often following dose 2 than dose 1, and typically within several days after vaccination.
CDC continues to recommend COVID-19 vaccination for people 12 years or older.
Clinical features of myocarditis and pericarditis include:
- Chest pain or pressure.
- Shortness of breath.
- Electrocardiogram (EKG) changes.
- Elevated cardiac biomarkers.
- Promptly report cases to VAERS at https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html.
- Report cases to [agency name] by call the reporting line at 800-535-5016 ext. 541.
- Consider myocarditis and pericarditis in adolescents and young adults with clinical signs and symptoms. In this younger population, coronary events are less likely to be a source of these symptoms.
- Elicit a detailed history, including vaccination status and potential exposures to COVID-19. Ask about medical, travel, and social history.
- Test patients for COVID-19 infection with a molecular (PCR) test.
- For initial evaluation, consider ECG, troponin level, and inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. It is important to consider other potential causes.
- For suspected cases, consider consultation with cardiology for assistance with cardiac evaluation and management. Evaluation and management may vary depending on the patient’s age, clinical presentation, potential causes, or practice preference of the provider.
What can you do now?
Complete your provider enrollment. If you plan on administering COVID-19 vaccine at your facility, complete your vaccine enrollment soon.
Develop a plan to vaccinate your staff. Healthcare personnel—including first responders—who have direct patient contact (within 6 feet) and are unable to telework are eligible in Phase 1A.
Keep your patients informed on how they can get vaccinated when they are eligible.
Share accurate and reliable information with your patients. While it may be a while before everyone can receive the vaccine, everyone can access accurate information now.
Helpful Resources for Offices Administering Vaccine
- Pre-vaccination checklist for COVID-19 vaccines—English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Vietnamese and Tagalog.
- Moderna EUA fact sheet for recipients and caregivers
- Pfizer EUA fact sheet for recipients and caregivers
- V-Safe—English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Vietnamese and Tagalog
- Vaccine Finder information for providers
Additional Information for Providers
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) COVID-19 Vaccine Training Module offers a general overview of immunization best practices for healthcare providers.
The DOH COVID-19 vaccine provider toolkit has many helpful resources.