A summary of presentations from the weekly Summit partner webinars

April 13, 2023 – The latest Summit Summary

Vaccines.gov Overview – Chris Duggar (CDC)

Chris Duggar, MPH, Senior Public Health Advisor, Immunization Services Division – CMO/COVID Unit, NCIRD, ISO, OD, CDC gave an overview of Vaccines.gov.



  • VaccineFinder is a web-based tool created in 2009 to help find influenza vaccines and, later, other vaccines
  • VaccineFinder has been maintained by Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) to support outbreak response efforts by helping the public find nearby vaccination services
  • With the onset of COVID-19, BCH, Apree Health (Castlight Health), and CDC optimized VaccineFinder for COVID-19 vaccination to show locations offering COVID-19 vaccinations among enrolled COVID-19 vaccine providers with vaccine inventory on hand that opted to have their locations made available on the website.

Vaccines.gov in COVID-19 Response

  • December 14, 2020
    • CDC recommended the first COVID-19 vaccines were distributed to people age 65+ and essential workers although states were able to customize vaccine prioritization independently.
    • Low availability and high demand
    • VaccineFinder assisted public with locating COVID-19 vaccines
  • March 2021–June 2021
    • White House announces vaccine available for those age +16
    • Availability and demand increase
    • Vaccine access became more of an obstacle
    • May 1, 2021 – VaccineFinder becomes Vaccines.gov, an official government web page
      • gov collects vaccine inventory data and presents it on the website that connects people with COVID-19 vaccination locations taking appointments
    • July 2021–Present
      • gov repeatedly updates vaccine information to reflect multiple changes in vaccine products and presentations
      • gov continued to grow
      • March 2023
        • There have been early 94K provider locations reporting their COVID-19 inventory into the back end of VaccineFinder
          • +35K are set to display to the public
        • There are on average 100K visits to the website a day
        • There have been 121 million visits on Vaccines.gov between May 2021–March 2023

Vaccines.gov User Activity

  • There have been 121.5 million visits to the website since May 1, 2021
    • Limited vaccine and high demand in May 2021
    • Peaks during booster recommendations
    • Peaks when vaccines were made available to kids age 5–11 years
  • There have been 6.2 million visits since January 1, 2023
    • Visits are fewer, but the public is still using the website

Vaccine Inventory Reporting

  • All COVID-19 providers wanting to participate need to be enrolled in the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program, which sends the provider enrollment information to VaccineFinder daily
  • Participants enroll in the program, send their information in, and report directly in VaccineFinder or state/business process
  • The provider portal allows the providers to report in real time
  • Vaccines providers in chains or large business industries are also required to report

Influenza Vaccine Reporting

  • Both influenza and  COVID-19 vaccines are included  on Vaccines.gov
  • Current Season
    • Providers update flu vaccine stock status to ensure locations have inventory for vaccination of the public
    • Flu vaccine page will be removed in late June
  • 2023–24 season
    • The flu page will be reintroduced in mid-August and will include flu vaccine status for 2023–24 flu season
    • Providers can begin including 2023–24 flu season stock status in July

General COVID-19 Vaccine Operations Today

  • The menu of authorized and available vaccines is changing rapidly
  • gov search page changes in near real time
  • VRBPAC strategy to get streamlined as head into the fall with:
    • Pfizer bivalent
    • Moderna bivalent
    • Novavax
  • On the back end, everyone is dealing with expiry and inventory, so working on only letting customers see what’s available
  • VaccineFinder helps manage dynamic inventory
  • CDC and partners work hard on best practices
    • When to pull vaccines out of the freezer and refrigerator
    • Know when to remove inventory when expired


  • Throughout the pandemic, Vaccines.gov has been useful tool for consumers to find COVID-19 vaccines
  • gov promoted by Whitehouse, CDC, scientists, public figures, organizations, social media, and media outlets
  • gov allows users to search for flu vaccines
  • gov will continue to evolve as a support tool for ongoing pandemic response efforts

Vaccines.gov Resources


Q: Since the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), we now have more availability and reduced barriers for people to get zoster and Tdap who are on Medicare. Vaccines.org used to allow providers to put any vaccines they had on the website. What is the timeline for allowing providers to enter their information about other vaccines again?

Chris Duggar: They revamped the whole system from start to finish for COVID-19 because the vaccine was a U.S. Government-supply only vaccine, so the system was rebuilt for providers who had a government enrollment pin to report on Vaccines.gov. We need to make it more rigid moving forward so providers can participate with other vaccines. It’s not impossible, but it means disabling everything we did for COVID-19. The enrollment for COVID-19 was very rigid and formal. We need to talk about how we can move forward so we can use this tool and it’s cost-effective for providers.


Q: Is Harvard still involved in Vaccines.gov?

Chris Duggar: Boston Children’s Hospital is still involved. They are still eager to help as needed. Much of this is tech and advocacy.


Q: Smaller providers who didn’t have the ability to participate in the COVID-19 vaccine program are now not able to participate in the flu vaccines program on Vaccines.gov. Is there a discussion on the ability of non-COVID-19 providers to participate in the future?

Chris Duggar: We will have to break down the COVID-19 infrastructure that was built. Now people will get their vaccines through multiple resources (not all government-owned). We want businesses to be able to upload all of their locations at once and also want to have small providers use this. We have a couple of decades of experience and a good vendor team that will help us do this. We will reach out to partners about testing the system.


Q: Do you recommend that providers not order mRNA monovalent vaccine beginning this week?

Chris Duggar: The CDC just put up an operations guide for the bivalent transition. We are 99% sure the monovalent mRNA vaccines are going to be removed from the EUA fact sheets. Do not add monovalent resupply. Next week we will talk about what to do with vaccines that are no longer recommended for use. We don’t want non-EUA vaccines to accidentally be administered.


Q: Is there a consideration to use Vaccines.gov outside the pandemic situation?

Chris Duggar: We are ready to go for seasonal flu no matter what. We will make sure that happens. We are ready to move COVID-19 from the U.S. government supply to commercial markets in the fall. We need to figure out how to add more to it so it becomes more useful for the lifespan, but we will need your help.


Q: Has there been any consideration to having two links people can go to when they go to Vaccines.gov so they can look for flu or COVID-19 and another that’s basically the old site, which allowed all the providers to put in all of their vaccines?

Chris Duggar: That may be the middle ground we have to work towards. The big change for COVID-19 is that they switched how it operated, making it an inventory-reporting system so that everyone can report their inventory per their enrollment agreement. We would be going backward to make it more of a search page than inventory management on the back end.


Q: For COVID-19 vaccine providers who don’t want to participate in the program after commercialization, what would the procedure be for the U.S. government-provided vaccine in their inventory?

Chris Duggar: May 11, when the public health emergency ends, that doesn’t mean we are out of vaccines. So, on May 12 you can still participate in the program, and we will still fill orders. When we get to September, there will be movement from FDA on strain selection. We will build a system once the new vaccines are available. There will probably not be a grace period once FDA moves us to the new strain selection, so people will have to dispose of the old vaccine per rules and regulations. Until then, there is plenty of it free of charge, and Vaccines.gov is there to help.


Q: Can you say anything about the formulations in terms of doses/vial?

Chris Duggar: The multidose vials are not the most popular. All three that we know of, Moderna, Novavax, and Pfizer, say that they will come with smaller dose presentations, single-dose vials, and prefilled syringes. For small providers or providers with small satellite clinics, there will be smaller minimum order quantities. They know what you need, and they know you are putting the cost in up front. It has to get through the FDA quality reviews and authorizations, as well. Flu does this every year, and we are hoping COVID-19 will pull through this year.


  • The 2023 NAIIS Adult Vaccine meeting will be held on May 9–11, 2023, at the Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Center in Atlanta, GA. Registration is at max capacity. If you have registered and do not plan to attend, please email info@izsummitpartners.org to remove yourself from the list and allow someone on the waiting list to attend the meeting.
  • The National Network of Immunization Coalitions hosted a webinar titled Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Update with Melinda Wharton, MD, MPH, Associate Director for Vaccine Policy, NCIRD, CDCon April 11, which is now posted for viewing. During this webinar, Melinda Wharton, MD, MPH, gave an update on the latest ACIP recommendations and ACIP discussions on pending vaccines. She updated the coalitions on the most recent recommendations from the February 2023 ACIP meeting and discussed the deliberations that are undergoing at the ACIP that have not yet received a recommendation.
  • If you are registered for the Summit not getting the emails from Mailchimp, please add “NAIIS” at info@izsummitpartners.org to your contact list.
  • If you have any agenda items that you are interested in sharing with the Summit, please let us know and we can add you to an upcoming call as a speaker or panelist. Contact information: info@izsummitpartners.org.


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