Vaccine Information for Health Care Professionals

Vaccine Information for Health Care Professionals

COVID-19 Vaccine Communications


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Vaccines available

Three COVID-19 vaccines are authorized for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Vaccine EUAs, linked below, are updated frequently and represent the most accurate information for administration, storage, handling, and other considerations. The EUA supersedes packing inserts, CDC resources, and any previous health department communications.

See the vaccine comparison chart with key details for each vaccine from the Asociation of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)

About the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

Doses to be fully vaccinated
For those 12 years and older, Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires 2 doses 3-8 weeks apart. For those 5 through 11 years Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires 2 doses at least 21 days apart. It takes 14 days after your second dose to be protected from COVID-19. 
Additional (3rd) dose
People who are moderate to severely immunocompromised, are 5 years and older, and received a Pfizer-BioNTech primary series should receive an additional primary dose of Pfizer BioNTech at least 28 days after their second dose. Learn more about additional doses.
People 12 years and older and 5 months past their second or additional dose of Pfizer should get a booster dose. Any of the three COVID-19 vaccines can be used for the booster dose.

Booster doses are not approved for children 5 to 11 years old.


About the Moderna Vaccine

Doses to be fully vaccinated
The Moderna vaccine requires two doses about 4-8 weeks apart. It takes 14 days after your second dose to be protected from COVID-19.

Additional (3rd) dose
People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, are 18 years and older, and received a Moderna primary series should receive an additional primary dose of Moderna at least 28 days after their second dose.
Booster dose
People 18 years and older and 5 months past their second or additional dose of Moderna get a booster dose. Any of the three COVID-19 vaccines can be used for the booster dose.


About the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) Vaccine

Doses to be fully vaccinated
The Janssen vaccine requires one dose. It takes about 14 days after you get your vaccine to be protected.
Additional Dose (2nd dose)
People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, are 18 years and older, and received a Janssen primary series should receive an additional primary dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) at least 28 days after their first dose.
Booster dose
People 18 years and older and at least 2 months after the first dose should get a booster dose. Any of the three COVID-19 vaccines can be used for the booster dose.



As new COVID-19 vaccines are approved, the CDC compiles resources on the U.S. COVID-19 Vaccine Product Information page. 

Enrolling in the COVID-19 Vaccine Program

To manage and administer vaccines through your office, you must enroll in the Vermont COVID-19 Vaccine Program, a separate process from how you may already be receiving other state-supplied vaccines.

The Immunization Program has engaged with independent, hospital-associated, and Federally Qualified Health Care (FQHC) provider offices. Most primary care offices are currently offering COVID-19 vaccine, or are in the process of doing so. We don't know when the COVID-19 vaccine will be provided through the Vermont Vaccine Program like other state-supplied vaccines, so enrollment is highly encouraged. Contact the Immunization Program at [email protected] for more information.

Non-primary care providers may also enroll to offer COVID-19 vaccines. This includes but is not limited to emergency medical services, home health care providers, pharmacies, urgent care facilities, specialty practices (ex: ob/gyn, pediatrics), substance use treatment and recovery centers, and college health centers. If your facility is interested in offering the COVID-19 vaccine, contact the Immunization Program at [email protected].

Enrollment Resources

Ordering and tracking vaccine inventory

Once enrolled, you will receive information primarily by email. It will be sent from [email protected], or [email protected] to the vaccine coordinator and back-up, as listed on your COVID-19 Enrollment form.

If you are an enrolled facility and need access to order or manage COVID-19 inventory, sign up for the Vaccine Inventory Management System (VIMS).

VIMS COVID-19 Vaccine Ordering Process

COVID-19 Expiration Date and Beyond Use Date (BUD) Guidance

Normalization in COVID-19 Vaccine Ordering Guidance 

Immunization Program COVID-19 Vaccine Ordering Training video / slides (March 22, 2022 Provider Call)

The below steps must be done in order.

1. Adjust in/out
Inventory adjustments for wastage, expiration, or transfer should happen the day they occur. Complete any needed adjustments before reconciling. Do not adjust the vaccine into your VIMS inventory. The vaccine will populate into your inventory when transferred or delivered from the Distributor, Depot, umbrella organization, or another practice. If you are concerned that it is not appearing, contact [email protected] before making any changes.
2. Reconcile
A full vaccine reconciliation, including COVID-19 inventory, is required in VIMS every Month. Refer to the guides and tutorials.
3. Order
Orders may be placed any day of the week, but ideally will align with the monthly reconciliation of your full inventory. All-vaccine orders should be placed on-schedule. 
4. Confirmation
  • The Depot will send a follow-up e-mail for all Depot transfers. 
  • No further communication will come for Distributor orders. 
  • If a COVID-19 order is changed for whatever reason, the ordering team will communicate that with the practice. 

Ancillary Supplies

COVID-19 vaccine comes with additional supplies to assist locations in administration. These supplies include needles, syringes, alcohol pads, vaccination cards, needle info cards, and PPE (e.g., face shields and surgical masks) for vaccinators. Ancillary supplies do not include sharps containers, gloves, or bandages.

Direct shipping or Depot Delivery

Place a depot request for all COVID-19 vaccines if any part of your order is below the minimum quantities. The Immunization Program will adjust your order to direct ship certain vaccines where appropriate.

Direct Ship

The Health Department prefers to use direct distributor deliveries. With direct ship the COVID-19 vaccine ships directly to you, just like routine vaccines. However, there are minimum order limitations. Ancillary supplies arrive in separate packaging within a day or two of the vaccine delivery.

Depot Delivery

The depot delivers vaccine and ancillary supplies to sites that need less than the minimum order quantities. Deliveries are batched geographically, and the date is confirmed by email. When the vaccine supply is not limited, a monthly order is preferred to reduce the number of deliveries.  All vaccines coming from the Depot should be placed in refrigerated temperatures unless otherwise stated. 

Get ordering information for other vaccines

Vaccine storage and handling

Part of ensuring a safe and effective vaccine is administered to patients is providing proper storage and handling. The Health Department offers training guides, tools, and resources to help.

Receipt and Management of COVID-19 Vaccine: You may receive the COVID-19 vaccine through your umbrella organization, transferred from the Depot, or directly from the distributor. Each method varies in storage requirements, inventory management, and communication structure, outlined in this guidance document. 

Temperature Monitoring

Temperature Excursions Protocol: Enrolled facilities must follow these steps whenever a vaccine has a period of being out of the appropriate temperature range. Never assume vaccine viability. Always contact the Immunization Program before taking any steps to change the vaccine temperature.

The Health Department provides enrolled locations with a temperature monitoring device compliant with CDC requirements. SensoScientific devices are cloud-based, and LogTag devices require a software download. Third-Party temperature monitoring is permitted only if it complies with the CDC requirements.

If you have any questions about temperature monitoring or vaccine storage and handling, please reach out to the Immunization Program at [email protected], 1-800-640-4374.

Expiration Date vs. Beyond Use Date

Expiration Date​​

  • Is associated with a specific lot number and might be extended as new data is obtained.​​
  • Dates presented on the manufacture box/vial may not be accurate. Any change to the expiration date is reflected in VIMS.​​
  • The date on the pediatric Pfizer vial (orange label), and the adult Pfizer vial (gray label - not yet available) is the Manufacture's date NOT the expiration. Add 9 months to the labeled date for all documentation

Beyond Use Date​​ (BUD)

  • Once a BUD passes, the vaccine is no longer viable. It must be removed from storage, documented in VIMS as waste, and disposed of.
  • Each vaccine has unique storage parameters. Check vaccine EUA before storing COVID-19 vaccine at your practice. 
  • When Pfizer vaccine is moved out of ultracold freezer storage and into refrigerated temperatures, it has a BUD that should be documented clearly.​​ This is not its expiration date. 
  • BUD Tracking and adherence to a Beyond Use Date is the practice's responsibility and will not be reflected in VIMS.​​

Offsite Vaccine Clinics

COVID-19 Vaccine Storage and Handling for Off-site Clinics: The vaccine is at greater risk of temperature fluctuations when administered away from a monitored storage unit. Anyone participating in or planning an offsite COVID-19 clinic should review this guide well before the clinic date to ensure all preparations are made.

Vaccine Carrier Borrowing Program Guide: The Immunization Program has qualified vaccine carriers available to assist practices in conducting offsite clinics safely and confidently. You may request a vaccine carrier from the Immunization Program for temporary use and return it when no longer needed. The Vaccine Depot will deliver your vaccine carrier with a manufacturer user guide and a digital data logger.  

Packing Vaccine for Transport during Emergencies (CDC): This guidance is only appropriate for the short transfer of vaccine between monitored units. The Immunization Program expects practices to take advantage of the Vaccine Carrier program and plan accordingly.

Offsite Hourly Vaccine Temperature Log: Use this document to track the time the vaccine leaves and returns to monitored storage and the hourly temperatures throughout the clinic as read on the provided LogTag device.

Minimizing Waste Policy: This Health Department policy will help sites reduce waste while ensuring no missed opportunities to vaccinate.

School Nurse Role During School-Located Vaccine Clinic: Information on what a school nurse can and can not assist with during an SLVC. 

VAMS Quick Guides: If your clinic is using VAMS (Vaccine Administration Management System) please direct questions to [email protected], 1-802-863-7428 (8:00-4:30 M-F). 


COVID-19 Vaccine: Quick Reference Guide for Healthcare Professionals (CDC): A printable table that provides basic information on the proper storage, preparation, and administration of the currently authorized COVID-19 vaccine products in the United States. 

Storage and Handling Summary: The below CDC documents include vaccine storage and handling details in a concise, printable sheet.

Get storage and handling information for other vaccines

Administering the vaccine

Anyone administering the COVID-19 vaccine at your office should be familiar with the nuances of each vaccine. Consider taking the CDC’s General Best Practice Guidelines for Immunization course for general information on vaccine administration.

Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines (CDC): Most COVID-19 administration questions can be answered through this frequently updated resource. 


Under the EUAs or full approval,  the following age groups are authorized to receive a primary COVID-19 vaccination series:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech – adult formulation (purple or gray cap): ages ≥12 years
  • Pfizer-BioNTeach – pediatric formulation (orange cap): ages 5 through 11 years
  • Pfizer-BioNTeach – pediatric formulation (maroon cap): ages 6 months through 4 years
  • Moderna - adult formulation (lite blue border): ages ≥12 years
  • Moderna - pediatric formulation (magenta border): ages 6 months through 5 years
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson): ages ≥18 years

Children and adolescents outside of these authorized age groups should not receive COVID-19 vaccination at this time.

See the additional primary dose and booster dose sections of the CDC’s Interim Clinical Considerations and Vaccines Available above for guidance on administration beyond the primary series. 


  • Pfizer-BioNTech – adult formulation, purple cap (Dilute, 30 µg, 0.3 ml each): 3-8 weeks apart
  • Pfizer-BioNTech – adult formulation, gray cap (Do Not Dilute, 30 µg, 0.3 ml each): 3-8 weeks apart
  • Pfizer-BioNTech – pediatric formulation, orange cap (Dilute, 10 µg, 0.2 ml each): three weeks (21 days) apart
  • Pfizer-BioNTech – pediatric formulation, orange cap (Dilute, 10 µg, 0.2 ml each): three weeks (21 days) apart
  • Moderna (100 µg, 0.5 ml): 4-8 weeks apart
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson):  (500 µg, 0.5 ml): single dose

For mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna):

  • Second doses administered within a grace period of ≤4 days from the recommended date for the second dose are considered valid.
  • Any dose administered earlier than the 4 day grace period (17 days for Pfizer-BioNTech, 24 days for Moderna) should be repeated. The repeat dose should be spaced after the improperly spaced dose by the minimum interval
  • The second dose should be administered as close to the recommended interval as possible. However, there is no maximum interval between the first and second dose for either vaccine.
  • An 8-week interval may be optimal for some people ages 12 years and older, especially for males ages 12 to 39 years.  A shorter interval (3 weeks for Pfizer-BioNTech; 4 weeks for Moderna) between the first and second doses remains the recommended interval for: people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised; adults ages 65 years and older; and others who need rapid protection due to increased concern about community transmission or risk of severe disease.

For guidance on any administration errors, see Appendix A: Vaccine administration errors and deviations from the Interim Clinical Considerations. 


Assessing patient need

As your patients continue to get vaccinated at community clinics, utilize the IMR reporting tools to help inform outreach and vaccine needs at your practice. 

Pfizer-BioNTech (purple cap) - 12 years of age and older

Pfizer-BioNTech (gray cap) - 12 years of age and older

Pfizer-BioNTech (orange cap) - 5 through 11 years of age


Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) 

Side effects, adverse reactions, and reporting

Side Effects


Anaphylaxis, an acute and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction, has been reported following COVID-19 vaccination. Those administering COVID-19 vaccines should review the CDC’s Interim Considerations: Preparing for the Potential Management of Anaphylaxis After COVID-19 Vaccination.


V-safe is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after a patient receives a COVID-19 vaccination. Enrolling to receive electronic health check-ins is a manual process where a patient registers online through a website or QR code. More information on V-safe can be found on

Information sheets and posters are available in English, Vietnamese, Spanish, Simplified Chinese and Korean from the CDC. The information sheets are also translated into the following languages:
Arabic | Burmese | French | Kirundi | Nepali | Somali | Spanish | Swahili | Vietnamese


Health care providers are required by Vermont law to report any adverse events that happen after vaccination to VAERS. To report an adverse event, go to and fill out the VAERS online form or downloadable PDF.

Anyone can make a VAERS report, including a patient or a guardian. All adverse events should be reported as soon as possible and duplicate reporting is allowed. Please submit to VAERS even if you are unsure if a report should be filed.

Patient resources
COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Card: a tool to make sure patients who are deaf and hard of hearing or need to communicate visually can easily understand and be understood by vaccine clinic staff. See Tips for Using Visual Communication Cards with people who are English language learners, Deaf, hard-of-hearing or Deaf-blind.

Vermont Department of Health Resources

About Taking Prevention Steps After Vaccination
Patients receiving the COVID-19 vaccine series should be advised to continue taking all prevention steps.

Webinars & Resources

COVID-19 Immunization Program Office Hours

Vermont Vaccine Program Updates

Additional Training

CDC Webinars

Contact Us

Call 802-863-7240