COVID-19 Vaccine
 

Questions and Answers


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Community Pharmacies and Medical Clinics


  • There is no minimum volume or quota to meet.
  • Operate clinics in best interests of client/patient health and service.
  • Encourage special or extended hour clinics.
  • Encourage administering allocated inventory as soon as possible.
  • Follow Manitoba’s eligibility criteria for who can be immunized.
  • Account for all doses before ordering.

Click here for detailed information on the program requirements.   


At this time, the Vaccine Implementation Task Force is planning to distribute non-mRNA vaccines to community pharmacies and medical clinics. Non-mRNA COVID-19 vaccines adhere to more routine storage and handling requirements required of other publicly-funded vaccines, including the seasonal influenza vaccine, that community pharmacies and medical clinics already follow.


Best practice suggests that the second dose be administered where the first dose was administered. This can be accomplished by booking the second dose appointment at the same time as when the first dose appointment was scheduled or alternatively, at the time of administering the first dose of the vaccine.

The clinic/facility of where the first dose was administered will be responsible for following-up with clients/patients who fail to show up for their second dose appointments. There may be special circumstances where going to another clinic/facility is required, but this should be avoided as much as possible.


Yes, each community pharmacy and medical clinic will be responsible for scheduling its own appointments via whichever method (e.g., online, telephone, etc.) deemed appropriate (including second doses for 2 dose vaccine schedules) as best suits their practice and client/patient needs.


Yes, provided they are authorized/certified and competent to administer vaccines. An immunizer is a health care provider who is registered or licenced to provide health care under legislation and who is authorized under that legislation to administer vaccines to a client/patient. If you have questions, contact your regulatory body.


Manitoba will identify who is eligible for vaccine based on priority populations and will expand that eligibility when deemed appropriate. This information will be located on the COVID-19 website and will be announced through media when those changes are made.

Community pharmacies and medical clinics are to only immunize persons who meet the current provincial eligibility criteria. Each clinic/facility will need to determine how best to approach screening interested clients/patients to confirm eligibility. Options may include screening clients/patients when they book an appointment or reviewing their client/patient listing and contacting (via telephone, text message, etc.) those that meet provincial eligibility criteria.


Staff of pharmacies and medical clinics that are registered (or registering) to participate in the Manitoba COVID-19 Immunization Program are not currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. After vaccine is available and allocated to pharmacies and medical clinics, participating pharmacy and medical clinic staff will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Pharmacists and physicians who currently meet provincial eligibility criteria may get the COVID-19 vaccine at any time


Billing for medical clinics/physicians will follow current billing processes.

Billing for COVID-19 immunizations that are administered by community pharmacies will be processed based on the immunizations that are entered into PHIMS based on the PHIMS data entry procedures and will follow the current quarterly payment schedule. Errors in PHIMS entry could affect billing.


The types of refrigerators that can be used are outlined in Manitoba’s Cold Chain Protocol. This includes using a commercial or domestic vaccine fridge while considering the modifications that should be considered in those fridges to ensure temperature stability. Bar fridge units are NOT permitted.


Health care providers are to refer to Manitoba’s Cold Chain Protocol for the recommended cold chain monitoring devices. Note: fluid-filled bio-safe liquid thermometers, bi-metal stem thermometers and household mercury thermometers are NOT recommended for the temperature monitoring of refrigerators containing vaccines and biologics.


The Education Program for Immunization Competencies (EPIC) third edition is not mandatory but should be considered as it has information that is specific to COVID-19 immunizations, information on vaccine hesitancy, and could be a great opportunity to refresh some skills.

EPIC is being provided at no cost to COVID-19 immunizers who are new to immunizing or are returning to immunizing and need resources for training. One seat provides a user with access to the following three learning programs: (1) the full EPIC, with users being able to select from any or all of the 14 modules depending on jurisdictional/user needs (a completion certificate to be provided per module); (2) the existing vaccine hesitancy module; (3) the new COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy - moving to acceptance module. To access for free, please have your supervisor email vaccines@gov.mb.ca.


No, provided pharmacists and physicians are immunizing within their regular pharmacies or medical clinics, then they are not required to complete the online modules through RRC, or any other certification courses.


At this time it is unknown when community pharmacies and medical clinics will begin being allocated COVID-19 vaccines. There are many factors that need to be considered including having vaccines approved for use in Canada and quantities available to Manitoba.

It is anticipated the initial demand for vaccines may exceed the available supply.  As such, a framework has been developed to guide how much vaccine is shipped to providers, and when those shipments will take place. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • COVID-19 case numbers and epidemiology in a community;
  • the proportion of eligible Manitobans served by the medical clinic or community pharmacy;
  • the provider’s capacity to administer the vaccine; and
  • if people have access to the vaccine at other locations, such as supersites and focused immunization teams (FITs).

Manitoba is not in a position to provide injection supplies beyond the vaccines themselves. However, supply issues can be reported to the Vaccine Implementation Task Force in order to help jointly identify and address broader program supply risks.


No. Any supply issues identified by community pharmacies or medical clinics can be reported to Shared Health. These issues will be reviewed to look for a solution.


Participation in the COVID-19 Immunization Program is contingent on interested community pharmacies and medical clinics completing/submitting the online registration eForm and agreeing to follow the program requirements.

It is anticipated that the initial demand of immunizers may exceed the available vaccine supply. As more vaccine supply becomes available, eventually there will be sufficient vaccine to be distributed to all community pharmacies and medical clinics that are approved to participate in the COVID-19 Immunization Program.


Questions about the registration process can be directed to emailed to COVID@gov.mb.ca. This email is monitored Monday to Friday during regular business hours; your email will be responded to in the priority in which it was received, as quickly as possible.

For community pharmacies, once you are registered and have been approved, you will be assigned a Digital Health Facilitator who you can contact directly about PHIMS training or information sharing agreement (ISA) questions.


The Vaccine Implementation Task Force will be monitoring the vaccines that have been distributed, received, administered and wasted. Any discrepancies or issues will be reviewed in connection with the associated community pharmacy or medical clinic to review the issue(s) and look for ways to correct any discrepancies. Compliance and performance of a given clinic/facility will be considered in future allocations of vaccines to that clinic/facility.




Questions and Answers Specific to Community Pharmacies


All COVID-19 vaccines must be recorded in PHIMS. If the client/patient does not exist in PHIMS (e.g., client/patient does not have a personal health identification number (PHIN)), the community pharmacy can record the immunization using the appropriate inputting form, located at https://manitoba.ca/covid19/vaccine/partners/index.html. The form is to be submitted twice weekly on Mondays and Fridays (if even only one entry on the form) to have the immunization(s) centrally recorded into PHIMS.


A member of the PHIMS Team will be connecting with your pharmacy to assist you with access to PHIMS.  They will provide resources and tools to help you use PHIMS.  You can contact them if you have additional questions.


A PHIMS user can enter vaccine administration on behalf of the immunization provider. If the immunization provider is not yet entered into PHIMS, “Other, Provider” can be selected for the provider. See question 31 with questions related to regulatory requirements for entering a drug administration record.


Yes. Community pharmacies who have applied for and have been accepted to administer COVID-19 vaccines will be required to document all COVID-19 doses administered into PHIMS. For clients/patients not found in PHIMS, please complete the appropriate inputting form available at: https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/vaccine/eligibility-criteria.html. All other vaccination administration records will be added to PHIMS via the existing DPIN interface.


Following approval of the COVID-19 Vaccine Registration Form, the contact indicated on the registration form will be notified regarding next steps to start the process of setting up access to PHIMS.


There is an annual PHIMS user fee that is currently being waived.


Instructor-led training is NOT being provided. Rather, there is a variety of resources available at: https://phimsmb.ca/resources/non-public-health/pharmacy/ for self-directed training. The resource material includes Quick Reference Cards (QRCs), guides, and videos. Webinars have also been scheduled to demonstrate what PHIMS looks like and answer questions about the application.


The PHIMS resource material is located here: https://phimsmb.ca/resources/non-public-health/pharmacy/. In addition to documents and videos, webinars have been scheduled for demonstrating what PHIMS looks like and answering questions about the application.


There is no formal training, but the resource material is available anytime. It is recommended that the resource material is read and viewed prior to logging into the PHIMS application. Demonstration webinars have been scheduled to demonstrate what PHIMS looks like and answer questions about PHIMS.


From the provincial program perspective, there is no need to also enter them into DPIN as long as all COVID-19 vaccines have been documented in PHIMS. If COVID-19 vaccines are entered into DPIN for clinic/facility-specific reasons, they should be entered as DU. The inclusion of the PS code is not required for the COVID-19 vaccine. (NOTE: if the PS code is unintentionally entered, it will not be pulled into PHIMS to avoid duplicate entries). All other administered vaccines should continue to be recorded per routine practices and protocols.


It is up to the discretion of the pharmacist. If the pharmacist wants to ensure his/her own software has the record of the immunization, he/she can enter it as needed.


Existing operations at community pharmacies do not currently allow or require pharmacists to do the following tasks:

  • record reason for immunization upon administering the vaccine to eligible persons; or,
  • provincially report inventory and wastage.

In addition, PHIMS provides pharmacists with an efficient mechanism for confirming client immunization history prior to immunization.


Regulatory questions associated with recording vaccines that have been administered to clients/patients for the purposes of complying with drug administration record requirements should be directed to the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba.


Regulatory questions associated with recording vaccines that have been administered to clients/patients for the purposes of complying with drug administration record requirements should be directed to the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba.