Information for Louisiana Pharmacies

COVID Vaccine Updates

Updated: February 15, 2020

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Contact Your LIPA Board Representative

Go To The LA Dept. of Health Website

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Update Your Pharmacy Locater Map Information

Please Bookmark The LDH COVID 19 Vaccine Provider Updates Page 

 

LDH has created a webpage for important provider updates and documents pertinent to COVID vaccines.

  • This reporting is in addition to the requirement that providers report all COVID-19 vaccination related adverse events/reactions to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) managed by the CDC and FDA.

Be sure to sign up for LINKS immediately if you have not done so. All COVID vaccine administration requires LINKS to interface with the federal system. 

  • Because of the federal holiday on Monday (President’s Day) and state holiday on Tuesday (Mardi Gras), Moderna vaccine shipments for next week are scheduled for Wednesday, February 17th.

 

Demand for the COVID-19 vaccine continues to exceed the weekly supply that Louisiana receives but each week we see independent pharmacies receive vaccines for the first time.  This week, only about 125 of the 260 independent pharmacies Ready to Receive vaccine [that number is now up to 270!] actually received vaccine (or will get vaccine next week). LDH reported on Thursday that exactly 2000 providers are now enrolled in the state’s COVID Vaccine Program. Fewer than 400 will get the vaccine next week.

  • Remember that even if you have been receiving the vaccine, you still need to complete the Vaccine Online Request Form before 8:30 AM Monday 2/15 to get the vaccine the week of 2/22.

 COVID Provider Education & CEUs

PREVIOUS CE ACTIVITY DOCUMENTS & INFORMATION:

COVID Vaccine Administration for Louisiana Pharmacies

LIPA hosted a Zoom meeting on January 3rd to prepare members for the vaccine rollout. 

Click Here to watch the video

Click Here for a PDF of the presentation

COVID-19 Vaccination CPE Activity: Sunday, January 17

LIPA hosted a one hour continuing education activity designed for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians interested in COVID-19 Vaccine Administration. Click Here to view a copy of the slides from this CE Activity.

COVID Vaccine Provider Updates

Vaccine Provider Enrollment Information 

While we have nearly 250 independent pharmacies in Louisiana who have already enrolled as COVID Vaccine providers, we have many others that have not yet completed the enrollment process. It is not too late.  LDH updated the process for enrolling Vaccine providers, with four important improvements that will reduce provider uncertainty as to whether the Immunization Program has received the completed Agreement and the status of their application:

LDH Enrollment Hotline: 225-325-5880

LINKS Hotline: 1-844-216-4410 , online at  https://lalinks.org/linksweb, or email at LA.LINKS@la.gov

  • A new e-mail address has been established exclusively for enrollment purposes: EnrollLA.LINKS@la.gov . This email will only be monitored for enrollment and no other purposes. 

  • NEW A confirmation email will be sent within 24 hours after submission. Be sure to check your spam inbox. 

  • If you do not receive this confirmation, your form has not been received [and you know to go ahead and e-mail it again]

  • Instructions and a list of frequent provider errors in competing the form are on Page 1 of the pdf rather than having to go to two separate documents for this information.

  • LIPA receives a list of all Ready to Receive and In Progress providers and can check your status if you are not certain whether you are enrolled. E-mail your inquiry to kennedy@ssgla.com

 

Common Provider Vaccine Questions

  • Click Here for this useful information page on the LDH website

  • Click Here for tips on minimizing audit liability for COVID vaccinations

Vaccinate Your Employee “Vaccinators” First

Louisiana Immunization Program Manager Stacy Hall advised that pharmacies receiving the vaccine should first administer it to their employee-vaccinators, but not all their employees, and then to patients.

Reminders for Pharmacies Receiving the Vaccine

  • Moderna vaccine should be immediately refrigerated upon receipt. Receipt of vaccine should be promptly entered in LINKS.

  • Pfizer vaccine  Instructions for storage of Pfizer vaccine in the thermal shipping cooler (975 doses per container) can be found here. Receipt of vaccine should be promptly entered into links

  • Pharmacies with Approved Redistribution Agreements Accept all the vaccine in LINKS. When vaccine is transferred to another location that is Ready to Receive, update LINKS to show vaccine was transferred so that the receiving location can go in LINKS and add it to their inventory.

  • Fact Sheets for Recipients and Caregivers Vaccine fact sheets differ depending on whether it is Moderna or Pfizer. 

  • Vaccine Expiration Dates: To determine the expiration date of COVID vaccine, scan the QR Code located on the vial or carton. The QR code will bring up a website; then choose the lookup option and enter the lot number. The expiration date will then be displayed. You may also access the LINKS Website directly or use the CDC Expiration Date Tracking Tool to help with documentation.

Priority Processing of Vaccine Provider Enrollments for Pharmacies  

LDH has agreed to LIPA’s request for priority processing for independent pharmacies that submit provider applications. Roughly 145 independent pharmacies are “Ready to Receive” the vaccine, the applications for several members are: 1) In Progress; 2) Sent Corrections; or 3) Not Received.  LDH hopes to complete all “In Progress” applications this week.

  •  Email laLINKS.@la.gov to request confirmation that your enrollment information was received.  

Moderna Vaccine 

See this CDC Website for information about the Moderna vaccine, including how to store, handle, and administer it.

COVID Vaccine Reimbursement 

COVID Vaccine Fact Sheet that Must be Made Available to Recipients 

Here is the link to Moderna’s COVID vaccine website which is a good resource for information about the Moderna vaccine. You can use the “pink buttons” at the top to download the very latest version of the Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers that must be made available to patients prior to giving them the Moderna vaccine. [There’s a different Fact Sheet for the Pfizer vaccine] It is six pages but you do not have to print copies and give to everyone. OPH suggested posting the pages on a wall, having several laminated copies or copies in sheet protectors (wiping them down after use) for folks to review, or providing the information electronically. The fact sheet contains a QR code that can be scanned to download the Fact Sheet information to a smart phone. Here is the link to the CDC’s webpage for Moderna vaccine.

 

Avoiding COVID Vaccine Spoilage 

OPH has posted a new document on their COVID 19 Vaccine Information for Health Care Providers webpage with written guidance detailing steps that should be taken by providers to avoid spoilage of COVID vaccine. As a reminder, while Pfizer’s vaccine is more time sensitive and must be used within 120 hours after being removed from the ultra-cold shipping container (which happens before it leaves Morris and Dickson in Shreveport), Moderna vaccine can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 30 days prior to first use, after which the vial, which contains a total of ten doses, should be discarded after six hours, per this Moderna fact sheet.

 

Notably, if COVID-19 Vaccine Product is set to expire within six hours, OPH guidance stipulates the following sequence for getting the vaccine into an arm rather than allowing it to spoil:

· Identify and administer vaccine to persons that are eligible in Phase 1a;

· Administer vaccine to outpatient health personnel and health-related support personnel in the community;

· Administer vaccine to persons aged 70 years and older;

· Administer vaccine to other persons not identified above.

 

In the event that the vaccine does expire--despite your best efforts to avoid vaccine loss--the loss should be reported to the Immunization Consultant for your region. Contact information for your region’s Immunization Consultant can be found on the LINKS home page. LDH’s Immunization Program leadership states their intent is not to take punitive action but to assess what if any steps can be taken to reduce vaccine loss going forward.

Emergency Order to Administer for RNs, LPNs, and Pharmacists

 

The State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter, with concurrence from LDH Secretary Dr. Courtney Phillips, has issued an Emergency Order on COVID-19 Vaccine Protocol that allows RNs, LPNs, and pharmacists to administer COVID vaccine without a patient-specific prescription. The Order is in effect until May 1, 2021, but could be extended beyond that point. You can view the order here Note that the order applies only to RN’s, LPNs, and pharmacists

LIPA Vaccine Survey is Still Open

We believe that the results of this survey will help show the degree to which independent pharmacies are quickly and efficiently administering vaccines. The information is valuable for sharing with state decision makers and gives us the data we need to quickly respond to questions. We know your time is valuable and questions asked on the survey were limited to what we “need to know” to advocate for you and effectively communicate the speed with which our LIPA pharmacies are administering the vaccine.  As of 1/22/21, we have had 109 independent pharmacies respond to this survey. Of those pharmacies, they have received 27,825 doses since January 4 and these independent pharmacies have administered more that 28,000 doses.  It gets up above 100% when you include the “angel doses.” Pharmacists are continuing to administer these remaining doses and in general are out of the 100+ doses within 3 days of receiving the delivery.  It is not difficult to see that much more vaccine needs to be administered when our pharmacies are reporting an average of more than 800 on their waiting lists.     

PREP Act Permits Pharmacy Techs To Administer COVID Vaccine

Provided they meet certain conditions and receive the required training, Louisiana pharmacy technicians are allowed under the PREP Act to administer the COVID 19 vaccine and COVID tests as well as vaccines to children ages 3 and older. During the current public health emergency, the federal law allowing this supersedes any more restrictive state regulations by the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy.

In anticipation of the availability of the COVID vaccine to LIPA member pharmacies in early 2021, now is the time to get pharmacy technicians on board and “qualified” to administer the COVID vaccine as soon as it becomes available to you. Here are three prerequisites to “qualify” that we want to call to your attention since they take some planning [the complete list can be found here]

  • Complete a practical training program that is approved by ACPE. This training program must include a hands-on injection technique and the recognition and treatment of emergency reactions to vaccines.

  • Have a current certificate in basic CPR.

  • Have completed a minimum of two hours of ACPE-approved, immunization-related CPE during the current State licensing period(s).

​Louisiana COVID Vaccine Eligibility Updates

Provider Group Eligibility List (as of 1/24/21)

  •  Ambulatory care providers and their staff. This includes members of coroner’s, autopsy, or mortuary teams who have direct contact with corpses.

  • Urgent care clinic providers and their staff

  • School Nurses and School Based Health Center staff.

  • Community clinic providers and staff. This includes staff of clinics designated as Federally Qualified Health Center and Rural Health Clinics

  • Staff of home health agencies.

  • Staff providing community and home-based care to older adults and people with disabilities. This includes staff employed by home care agencies as well as staff who are hired directly by the person with a disability.

  • Behavioral health providers and staff.

  • Dental providers and staff. This includes all oral health providers.

  • Students, residents, faculty and staff of schools of allied health.

Medicaid HCBS Waiver Recipients Are Eligible to Get COVID Vaccine 

New guidance issued this week makes it clear that people living in the community who receive services in their home through the Medicaid HCBS Waivers—as well as their caregivers—are eligible to get the vaccine now. This includes thousands of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as adults under age 70 with physical disabilities and thousands of Direct Care Workers who provide them assistance in their homes.

Health Alert Network (HAN) 21-06 further defines these two eligibility groups that can get the vaccine now.

 

Home care patients and their providers. This includes older and younger people with disabilities over the age 16 who receive community or home-based care and their   providers [emphasis added], as well as clients of home health agencies. Note that people could refer to these HCBS Medicaid waivers by their names such as the NOW Waiver (New Opportunities Waiver, Supports Waiver, Residential Options Waiver and Community Choices Waiver.)

 

Staff providing community and home-based care to older adults and people with disabilities. This includes staff employed by home care agencies as well as staff who are hired directly by the person with a disability.  Notice the home- based care is no longer limited to “health care.” The program through which staff is directly hired by the person with a disability is called Self-Direction and recipients may refer to Acumen, the fiscal agent who handles payroll.

 

LDH guidance states:  A patient must show proof they are receiving home-based care or receive regular dialysis care. The State has provided people with disabilities a qualification letter from the State Health Officer. Other forms of verification may be acceptable as well, such as the person’s Plan of Care for community and home-based services. 

Employment: Proof of employment such as Employee ID or name tag, paystub, letter from employer, uniform, parking pass or any other ID acceptable to the vaccine provider.  This is an area in which vaccine providers can exercise professional judgment. Some HCBS waiver recipients and their staff may be your patients and well-known to you. 

COVID-19 Provider Document Links

 

If you intend to be a COVID vaccine provider, have you completed all of the necessary paperwork? Should you need to access Louisiana COVID 19 Vaccine forms, you can use the links below:

 

CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement - 11/2020

Download/View

CDC Supplemental COVID-19 Vaccine Redistribution Agreement - 10/2020

Download/View

COVID-19 Provider Agreement FQA’s

Download/View

Provider Enrollment Common Mistakes

Download/View

LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Webpage

Click Here