Adolescents are now eligible to obtain COVID-19 vaccines, so to prepare for this big step in combating the pandemic, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) encourages physicians and other health care professionals in Texas Vaccine for Children (TVFC) to enroll in the COVID-19 Vaccine Program.
Enrollment in the COVID-19 Vaccine Program will allow pediatricians and other physicians to obtain and administer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for patients aged 12 to 15, now that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the vaccine’s emergency use authorization (EUA) to include adolescents. Before, 16-year-olds were the youngest patients who could receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
To participate, TVFC physicians must enroll with the COVID-19 Vaccine Program and complete the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vaccination Program Provider Agreement, DSHS says.
“Vaccinating adolescents will bring us closer to ending the pandemic and getting back to normal,” said DSHS Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD, said in a press release.
DSHS sent a letter to more than 3,000 pediatric physicians and health care professionalsenrolled in TVFC as well as to the Texas Medical Association, Texas Pediatric Society, and other medical groups inviting them to enroll. Also, DSHS will hold a webinar to discuss its COVID-19 Vaccine Pediatric Provider Enrollment Program Friday from 12:30 to 2 pm (CT).
To reduce delays, physicians should enroll using the same information listed in the state’s Electronic Vaccine Inventory System, DSHS says. That information includes your organization’s name, ImmTrac2 org code, TVFC PIN, phone number, email addresses, vaccine delivery hours, and shipping address. Physicians should also provide the names of the primary and backup vaccine coordinators.
Physician offices also must include information on their vaccine storage unit make, model, and size (cubic feet); data logger information for the storage unit and the logger’s certificates of calibration (for both primary and backup systems); patient population; and the vaccine administration location.
For any questions, contact the DSHS COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Helpdesk at (877) 835-7750, 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday, or email COVID19VacEnroll@dshs.texas.gov.
TMA’s Vaccines Defend What Matters program offers a variety of resources on COVID-19 vaccines. As always, check the TMA COVID-19 Resource Center regularly for up-to-date news and the latest TMA materials for your practice.