Support for VAMS Inventory Managers

VAMS Frequently Asked Questions for Inventory Managers

Inventory management

  • VAMS updates inventory in real time and includes all vaccines administered and/or documented as wastage. VAMS does not currently reconcile inventory with the IIS.
  • Inventory is decremented at the point of vaccination.

  • VAMS updates inventory in real time and includes all vaccines administered and/or documented as wastage.
  • Inventory is decremented at the point of vaccination.
  • VAMS does not distinguish between initial and follow-up doses when tracking and managing inventory.
  • Because vaccines produced by specific manufacturers are intended to be administered in the same way for both first and second doses (same product and dosage), VAMS does not differentiate between the doses.

Only clinic administrators and inventory managers can manage inventory within VAMS. Jurisdiction POCs can view inventory requests in VAMS but cannot initiate the request themselves.

CDC will send ancillary supplies packaged in kits. These kits are automatically ordered in amounts to match vaccine orders. Each kit contains supplies to administer 100 doses of vaccine, including:

  • Needles
  • Syringes
  • Alcohol prep pads
  • Minimal supply of surgical masks and face shields for vaccinators
  • COVID-19 vaccination record cards for vaccine recipients

Supply kits will not include sharps containers, gloves, or bandages. Because of vaccine cold chain requirements, supply kits (and diluent, if applicable) will ship separately from vaccine but should arrive before or on the same day as vaccine.

Manufacturers will send COVID-19 vaccine directly to COVID-19 vaccination provider locations for administration or to designated depots for secondary distribution to COVID-19 vaccination provider sites (e.g., chain pharmacies’ central distribution).

  • Clinic administrators and inventory managers can use the Inventory Request tab on the Clinic Portal home page to request vaccine inventory.
  • See Section 1: Inventory Management in VAMS in the Inventory Manager user manual for step-by-step help.

The lot number on the vaccine packaging (unit of sale, or UoS) matches the lot number on the vial (UoU) inside the packaging. We have confirmed that this will be the case for all COVID-19 vaccines across manufacturers. This means that if the lot number on the UoS is EH9649, then the lot number on every vial (UoU) within that UoS package will also be EH9649.

A clinic can decrement their inventory and mark it as “transferred,” but it does not formally transfer the inventory to another clinic. The other clinic will need to log the inventory when they receive it. Therefore, it does not matter which clinic or clinic type is receiving the inventory.

Account creation

  • Search your email inbox for an email from vams@cdc.gov.
  • Follow the registration link in this email to register your clinic staff account (this step creates your account).
  • If the email isn’t in your inbox, check your junk or spam mail folders.
  • See the Getting Started in VAMS – Activate Your User Account section in the Inventory Manager user manual for step-by-step help.

No, you must register as a recipient to schedule a vaccination appointment or create a walk-in appointment.

  • To register as a recipient, your clinic’s administrator must request your jurisdiction’s POC to add your clinic in VAMS as an organization. Once your clinic is added as an organization in VAMS, and your clinic’s employer coordinator adds you as an employee of that organization, you will receive an email from VAMS (vams@cdc.gov) with a link to register as a recipient. This email is sent to the same email address you use to log into VAMS.
  • Click that link and follow the prompts in VAMS to complete your recipient registration.
  • Once registered, log into VAMS and you will see the portal selection page. Click Clinic Portal for your clinic staff duties or Recipient Portal to schedule your own appointment as a recipient.
  • See Section 2: Additional VAMS Functionality in the Inventory Manager user manual for step-by-step help.

Dashboards and reporting

Clinic administrators and inventory managers can use the Inventory Management page to monitor inventory levels and view snapshots of available and booked appointments. This page gives you a complete view of important information about your vaccine inventory level.

As a clinic administrator or inventory manager, the Inventory Management tab gives you a snapshot of:

  • The number of appointments available at your clinic over the next 28 days (including the current day).
  • The total number of appointments booked at your clinic.
  • The total number of vaccine doses your clinic has in its on-hand vaccine inventory.

Note the total on-hand inventory data on this dashboard come from the inventory and waste that your clinic logs in VAMS.

The data from these waste and inventory logs will enter the on-hand inventory table in near-real time, representing the number of doses received and remaining from each unit of sale (UoS) lot.

Functionality

VAMS works best in the Google Chrome web browser but can be accessed via any browser except Internet Explorer. VAMS also works on Android and iOS mobile devices.

VAMS is web-based and works on computers, cell phones, and tablets. There is no VAMS smartphone app, but you can access the VAMS website from the internet browser on your cell phone or tablet. VAMS works best in the Google Chrome web browser but can be accessed via any browser except Internet Explorer.

No, VAMS does not integrate with Outlook.

CDC is currently exploring how to use VAMS for later phases of the COVID-19 response.

VAMS allows for healthcare professionals to backdate vaccinations, allowing vaccination to continue even if VAMS is unavailable. Healthcare professionals will need to document the following information from recipients during vaccination to enter in VAMS once the system is available again.

Information requested during vaccination:

  • Vaccine information, including UoU (vial) barcode, manufacturer, product, and UoU (vial) lot number.
  • Administration site (e.g., left deltoid).
  • Vaccination outcome: successful or unsuccessful. If unsuccessful, was it possible to re-attempt vaccination?
  • Whether wastage occurred. Note: Log waste if it did occur.

Page last reviewed: March 1, 2021