COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Providers

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General Vaccine Information for Providers

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) is leading the State of New Mexico’s COVID-19 vaccination planning and implementation in close collaboration with other state agencies and public, private and tribal partners throughout the state. This ensures coordination of the activities, roles, and resources necessary to provide an integrated COVID-19 vaccine response throughout the state. NMDOH has created a public-private COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group, several sector-specific work groups, and an Internal Vaccine Planning Team, all of which continue to work on operational planning and implementation.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I find information about vaccine administration?

Manufacturers will send information along with doses of COVID-19 vaccine.  These will not include Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations or clinical materials and job aids to facilitate immunization practice.

Information for all vaccine products will include: 1) vaccine preparation and administration summary, 2) storage and handling summary, and 3) standing orders template for each product.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) materials are meant to supplement manufacturers’ materials and cover gaps.  They will not replace guidance from manufacturers.

    What vaccine administration information will be available from CDC?

    CDC offers the following COVID-19 vaccine training materials and references on storage and handling.
    You Call the Shots interactive web-based immunization training course on vaccine storage and handling
    Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (13th Edition) – aka the Pink Book – has updated vaccine storage and handling chapter
    Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit
    Keys to Storing and Handling Your Vaccine Supply video

    How do I communicate with my patients about accepting the COVID-19 vaccine?

    A provider recommendation is often the most important factor in whether a patient accepts a vaccine. CDC has created some materials to help you plan for vaccination, as well as to assess patients’ vaccine information needs and communicate effectively to meet those needs. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/covid-conversations/talking-to-patients.html   

    Additionally, make sure all employees in your facility get vaccinated and are communicating the same message around COVID-19 vaccine acceptance to patients.

    Does the state have freezers to properly store and maintain the supply of vaccines?

    New Mexico has identified multiple entities in different regions of the state that have ultra-cold freezer storage capacity to hold vaccine doses. This will facilitate more robust and widespread administration of vaccines as they are approved and found to be safe and effective.

    NMDOH has also surveyed providers about supply and access to freezers and refrigeration for multiple vaccine types, including but not limited to ultra-cold freezers.

    How do I report if someone has a problem or bad reaction after getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

    CDC and the FDA encourage the public to report possible side effects – known as adverse events – to their reporting system known as the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html.  This national system collects this information to help protect the public.

    Health care providers will be required to report adverse events following vaccination to VAERS.

    Is there a concern that a lack of internet access in some places might be a problem for collecting and managing data?

    No. The state already has good backup systems, including data collection by way of paper and phone, in place from our long-running, annual flu vaccine campaigns.

    Does the State have the funding it needs to administer the vaccine?

    The vaccine itself will be provided cost-free to all states, including New Mexico.  

    The federal government has proposed a rule that would require Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance and other health plans to ensure that consumers are not charged for getting a vaccine.  That would mean there is no out-of-pocket cost to you and that health care providers will be reimbursed directly.

    Some questions regarding related costs have yet to be answered by the Federal government. Systems for providers to obtain federal reimbursement for administering vaccine to the uninsured have yet to be fully developed.

    What is the state doing to ensure the safety and security of our vaccine supply?

    There is a system in place, similar to what we use for the flu vaccine, to ensure the security, safety and integrity of the vaccine.  NMDOH has managed many vaccines for adults and children for decades, so we have the expertise to ensure proper management of COVID-19 vaccine.

    What is the role of NMDOH in vaccine administration?

    NMDOH has built a statewide network of health care providers to administer a variety of different vaccines to both adults and children, including specialized vaccines such as high-dose flu shots for seniors.  This network of strong partners will be expanded to ensure access to COVID-19 vaccines statewide.

    This vast network includes pharmacies, medical clinics, hospitals and community health centers and private providers throughout the state to administer the vaccine.  NMDOH will coordinate the statewide vaccine administration efforts, including helping to coordinate community vaccination clinics.  NMDOH staff will participate in many of those clinics and administer vaccine to some of the uninsured and people who receive other services from NMDOH Public Health Offices (PHO). 

    How will the vaccine be allocated to states? What formula will be used?

    The federal government will determine the amount of COVID-19 vaccine designated for each jurisdiction. The jurisdiction’s immunization program will then be responsible for managing and approving orders from enrolled providers within their jurisdiction using this allotment. The amount allotted will change over time, which may be based on critical populations recommended for vaccination by ACIP (with input from National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine), COVID-19 vaccine production and availability, and overall population of the jurisdiction.

    Federal agencies and additional commercial partners will also receive allocations directly from CDC once larger volumes of vaccine are available. CDC is currently developing procedures to ensure that jurisdictions and tribes have full visibility of COVID-19 vaccine supply and vaccination activities among these entities located within their boundaries.

    How will the vaccine be distributed?

    The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be distributed directly by Pfizer to pre-identified locations throughout New Mexico.

    All other COVID-19 vaccines will be distributed by McKesson Corporation directly to health care provider sites.

    The vaccines and ancillary supplies will be provided by the federal government at no cost to health care entities that are enrolled as COVID-19 vaccine providers. If your organization is interested in becoming a COVID-19 vaccine provider, please click here: https://cv.nmhealth.org/providers/vaccines/vaccine-provider-portal

    Additional Resources

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