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OPA COVID-19 Vaccines: November 10, 2021 Update


NewPfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Approved for Children Ages 5-11
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended using the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine pediatric formulation for children ages 5-11 following a thorough review of the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. The CDC has also offered guidance on administering this vaccine through standing orders, including eligibility, contraindications, procedures for administering the vaccine, records, monitoring for adverse events, and reporting adverse events. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published emergency use authorization fact sheets for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine pediatric formulation for healthcare providers and vaccine recipients, and caregivers. The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is sharing updated Provider Guidance for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines for Children Ages 5-11.

The COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer-BioNTech for children ages 5-11 is a lower dose at 10 micrograms and is administered as a two-dose primary series, three weeks apart. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine pediatric formulation is a new product configuration with new packaging, preparation, and national drug code (NDC). The current Pfizer/Comirnaty product for adults and adolescents should not be used in children younger than 12.

NewOrdering Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Pediatric Formulation from ODH
Providers can now order the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine pediatric formulation through ODH. Providers can request vaccines through the Vaccine Ordering Management System (VOMS) in the Impact Statewide Immunization Information System (ImpactSIIS). VOMS is open for providers to place orders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Details for ordering in the coming days are included below:

  • Large quantities of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine formulation shipped directly by the manufacturer:
    • The minimum order is 300 doses, and the maximum order is 600 doses.
    • Ordering is available in the “COVID-19-Pfizer” order set in VOMS.
    • In the near future, the direct shipment minimum will be reduced to 100 doses. 
  • Small quantities of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine formulation will be repackaged and shipped by the RSS warehouse: 
    • The order quantity is 50 doses.
    • Ordering is available in the “COVID-19-Pfizer 30” or “COVID-19-Pfizer RSS” order sets in VOMS.
    • Orders will follow the standard Tuesday/Thursday/Friday RSS delivery cadence.
  • This formulation does NOT have an expiration printed on the vial.  Instead, each vial has the lot number and date of manufacture printed on the label. The date on the label is NOT the expiration date. The CDC will have clinical materials to assist with tracking expiration and beyond-use dates posted soon.

NewPfizer-BioNTech Immunization Site Training Sessions 
Pfizer-BioNTech is offering training sessions for all providers on the storage, handling, and administration of currently available COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccine providers can attend any of the following training programs:

              Meeting Time















Reminder: COVID-19 Booster Dose Information 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Food and Drug Administration have updated their booster directives. Here is a short visual summary of the booster doses created by the Michigan Pharmacists Association.

Eligible booster recipients must be asked to attest to one of the qualifying conditions, but specific proof will not be required. ODH is advising that it may take eligible Ohioans 2-3 weeks to get their booster dose and is emphasizing that there will be many opportunities to receive these boosters in their local community, whether they walk in to get their third dose or make an appointment with a nearby provider. Ohioans will be able to schedule an appointment online at or by phone at 1-833-427-5634. 

Updated Resources:

Mix-and-Match Doses
Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may prefer the vaccine type they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. This mix-and-match approach applies only to booster doses according to this guidance from the FDA. The primary series of the two-dose mRNA vaccines must be the same product. 

Reminder: Administration Fees for COVID-19 Vaccines Increased to $100 Per Shot for Medicaid Patients 
The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) and Ohio’s Medicaid Managed Care Plan (MCP) leaders announced that the administration fee for COVID-19 vaccines will be $100 for all shots, including first, second, and booster doses for Medicaid members. This is in continued support of the pharmacist’s critical role in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Ohio.

Ohio’s Medicaid Managed Care Group has announced a new Rx Bonus Program that could earn your pharmacy up to $10,000 by the end of the year.

Rules of participation in the Rx Bonus Program:

  • Pharmacy must have provided at least fifty (50) vaccinations for COVID-19 to Medicaid MCO enrollees between June 15, 2021, and September 15, 2021, as determined by claims data
  • Pharmacy must have the capability to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to Medicaid MCO enrollees between October 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021

How the Rx Bonus Program works:
Each pharmacy will have a baseline vaccination goal.

  • Based on claims data, the baseline will be set based on each Pharmacy location’s delivery of vaccines to Medicaid MCO members 12+ between June 15 and September 15.
    • Bonus payment will be based on vaccination doses delivered to Medicaid MCO members 12+ between October 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021. (Claims must be received no later than January 31, 2022)
  • Each Pharmacy location will be eligible to receive a vaccine incentive bonus based on their percentage improvement against the Baseline Target as follows:
    • Improvement > 50%but < 75%over the baseline = $5,000.00
    • Improvement > 75% but < 100%over the baseline = $7,500.00
    • Improvement > 100% baseline = $10,000.00 
  • Vaccination Incentive bonus will be paid out no later than March 31, 2022.
  • Indicate your interest in the program by answering this survey: Rx Vaccine Bonus Program Interest Survey

Who benefits from the Rx Bonus Program:
Rx Bonus Payments must be distributed to the specific Pharmacy location’s staff (pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, pharmacy interns, and any other staff directly supporting the pharmacy team). Each pharmacy has the discretion to determine the distribution amounts to staff.

Rx Bonus Program toolkit to help reach patients:
The MCOs will share a toolkit to assist pharmacies in reaching out to patients for a final 2021 appeal to get vaccinated against COVID-19. These resources will help pharmacies inform patients of the $100 gift card incentive for all Medicaid members over 12 years. It will also remind them that they only have until the end of the year to receive their gift card when they are vaccinated at a local pharmacy.

Tools include:

  • Social Media posts
  • Text messages
  • Outbound call scripts

If you have any questions about this program, please contact Meera Patel-Zook at MZOOK@CENTENE.COM and Nick Trego at Please respond to this survey as soon as possible with your interest: Rx Vaccine Bonus Program Interest Survey.

Reminder: Medicaid Vaccine Incentives Deadline Extended
Ohio’s managed care plans announced that the incentives for administering the COVID-19 vaccine have been extended to December 31, 2021. The incentives include gift cards for patients ages 12 and above on Medicaid who received their first dose. 

  1. Pharmacies can receive Visa gift cards directly to give to patients. If you are an independent pharmacy vaccinator, please email for your gift card needs. Thank you to those who have already responded with the projected numbers of gift cards needed.
    1. Once you get to 75% of your gift card allocation, please reach out to Attn: Meera Patel-Zook – Gift Card Request at  so that they can ship out an additional allotment to your store.

If you have received gift cards, please track them using COVID-19 Vaccine Gift Card Tracker Example. Vaccinators can now add all the information for all MCOs in ONE tracker and send that tracker to RxCOVIDTracking@CENTENE.COM

Helpful State Vaccine Resources and Information
The following resources are helpful for vaccinators to contact ODH regarding vaccine shipments:

  • COVID Vaccine Provider Call Center: 1-844-963-4829 (The ODH Provider Call Center is open daily from 8:00 am – 7:00 pm Monday through Friday and is no longer open on weekends)
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Resources website
  • ImpactSIIS Job Aids and Videos
  • ImpactSIIS help desk: email for assistance or call 1-866-349-0002.

    OPA is working diligently to facilitate communication between state decision-makers and member pharmacists. OPA has created multiple COVID-19 resources, including a COVID-19 Vaccine Information Webpage, COVID-19 Testing Hub, and COVID-19 Resources Webpage, on the OPA website under the Resources drop-down box. Please contact Myriam Shaw Ojeda, Director of Pharmacy Extension and Public Health Initiatives, for further questions at

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