Physicians and facilities that administer COVID-19 vaccines should remember that the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will no longer automatically send second doses.
Instead, physicians and facilities must request an allotment of second doses through the Texas Vaccine Allocation & Ordering System (VAOS) seven to 14 days after receiving first doses, DSHS has said.
The agency also said it is working with physicians and others “to make sure that they order the number of second doses they need at the appropriate time.”
The requirement is part of a state effort to prioritize second dose allocations only for people who have received a first dose and to minimize vaccine waste, DSHS said. However, “physicians should try to administer any remaining doses to any qualified individual.”
Currently, physicians and other health care workers, residents of long-term care facilities, people 65 and older, and those with certain medical conditions are prioritized to receive vaccines.
This week, the state is ordering 330,925 doses intended as the second dose, DSHS said. Another 401,750 first doses will be delivered to 358 facilities across Texas this week, including 85 hub providers that will focus on larger community vaccination efforts.
Patients should receive a second dose within three weeks for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and within one month for Moderna’s. Patients should receive a second dose from the same manufacturer as their first.
Physicians can access a patient’s information, including where and when they received the first dose, in ImmTrac2, the state’s immunization registry. Physicians must be enrolled in ImmTrac2 in order to administer a vaccine.
Once registered, physicians must report to ImmTrac2 patient information for each vaccine given within 24 hours of administration.
To help you understand the requirements and instructions for ordering second doses, DSHS has published a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document that covers timeframes, labeling, shipments, and more. DSHS has posted instructions on accessing VAOS on its website.
You can also find more information, links, and resources in the Vaccines section of the Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Resource Center.