In anticipation of the authorization of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) have issued updates on ordering Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines.
New York State
Starting today, Tuesday, October 19, certain enrolled providers in the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS) may preorder the pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Eligible providers include larger, non-pharmacy providers that can receive, store, and administer at least 300 doses of the pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine within the first month of the rollout. Preorders during the first week have a 300-dose minimum and must be placed in 300-dose increments (300, 600, 900, etc.). Preorders during the first week should be submitted separately from all other vaccine orders.
Starting Wednesday, October 27, other enrolled providers that want to order less than 300 doses of pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can begin entering their orders in NYSIIS in 100-dose increments. Please do not place an order for 100 or 200 doses prior to October 27.
DOH has issued guidance (attached) that outlines the anticipated timeline for authorization and distribution of the pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, information about vaccine storage and handling, and ordering details.
To support the increased logistics needed for the anticipated launch of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children, DOH will pause ordering of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for individuals age 12 and older (1,170 dose packages) in NYSIIS during the first week of the pediatric vaccine distribution. DOH recommends ordering enough vaccine to ensure a facility has sufficient supply for first, second, third, and booster doses for individuals ages 12 and older during this period. Orders for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for ages 12 and older should be placed in NYSIIS no later than the close of business Wednesday, October 27. Shipments ordered by this deadline are expected to arrive no later than Monday, November 1. Orders for Pfizer adult COVID-19 vaccine will restart on Wednesday, November 3, and should arrive by Monday, November 8.
New York City
As of October 18, 2021, New York City providers enrolled in the Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR) can preorder pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. Orders will be in increments of 100 doses. The first wave of shipments will likely arrive after Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization, but before Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation.
In anticipation of the resources needed for the pediatric vaccine distribution, DOHMH will also pause ordering of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for individuals ages 12 and older between the dates of October 29 and November 4. DOHMH recommends ordering enough vaccine before Friday, October 29, to ensure a facility has sufficient supply for first, second, third, and booster doses for individuals age 12 and older during this period.
DOHMH’s announcement letter and a preliminary reference document outlining the differences between the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 and the vaccine for individuals ages 12 and older is available here. Any technical questions about ordering or preordering in CIR can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Providers cannot administer the pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5 to 11 until the FDA authorizes its use and the CDC issues a recommendation for vaccination in this age group. The current product for individuals age 12 and older cannot be used for children. The pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will have a new national drug code and new packaging compared to the vaccine formulation for individuals age 12 and older.
Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine orders for children ages 5 to 11 will include diluent and other ancillary supplies configured specifically for the new age group. Reconstitution will use a different volume of diluent than the formulation for individuals age 12 and older. The vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 can be stored in the refrigerator (between 2°C and 8°C) for up to 10 weeks and in an ultra-cold freezer (between -90°C to -60°C) for up to six months. Regular freezers cannot be used with the new formulation.
Providers should evaluate first- and second-dose needs when preordering. Second-dose administration is expected to be recommended at least 21 days after the first dose pending final recommendations.
GNYHA will continue to keep hospitals apprised of any vaccine distribution updates.