Inventory Manager User Manual

As an inventory manager, you will use VAMS to manage COVID-19 vaccine inventory for your clinic. In VAMS, you can place and track inventory requests, log and reduce vaccine inventory, monitor inventory levels, and communicate with your jurisdiction about inventory requests.

As you can see below, the activities you will perform in VAMS can also be done by the clinic administrator but will be your primary responsibility as the inventory manager.

Activities in VAMS
Activities in VAMS Inventory Manager Clinic Administrator Front Desk Healthcare Professional
Serve as clinic point of contact (POC) for your jurisdiction.
(Typically, the clinic administrator serves as the clinic POC.)
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Manage clinic information (e.g., shipping address). checkmark
Set and manage clinic schedule. checkmark
Manage (add, edit, and remove) VAMS clinic users. checkmark
Place COVID-19 vaccine inventory requests. checkmark checkmark
Log COVID-19 vaccine inventory when received. checkmark checkmark
Reduce COVID-19 vaccine inventory. checkmark checkmark
Monitor clinic COVID-19 vaccine inventory levels to match appointments scheduled. checkmark checkmark
View and export Inventory-Vaccine Level report. checkmark
Check in vaccine recipients. checkmark
Create walk-in recipient appointments. checkmark
Cancel recipient appointments. checkmark checkmark
Confirm recipient identity. checkmark checkmark
Add and edit vaccine recipients in VAMS. checkmark checkmark
(Edit only)
Administer and log vaccination (vaccine information, outcome, and waste if applicable). checkmark
View recipient next-dose eligibility date(s). checkmark
Section 1: Inventory Management in VAMS

Now that you have activated your VAMS user account, you can use VAMS to manage your clinic’s COVID-19 vaccine inventory by performing the tasks below.

Place COVID-19 Vaccine Inventory Requests
Track COVID-19 Vaccine Inventory Requests
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Log COVID-19 Vaccine Inventory
Reduce Vaccine Inventory
Monitor COVID-19 Vaccine Inventory Levels

Place COVID-19 Vaccine Inventory Requests

You will place your COVID-19 vaccine inventory requests in VAMS to your jurisdiction’s POC. This crucial process will allow you to ensure your clinic has enough inventory on hand to administer vaccines to recipients. While you will place all inventory requests in VAMS, the jurisdiction POC will place all COVID-19 vaccine orders outside of VAMS through an established process determined by the jurisdiction.

NOTE: Inventory requests let your jurisdiction know how much inventory you need. An inventory request does not place an order or guarantee you will receive all inventory requested right away. The jurisdiction POC will place an order through their public health agency for the amount of inventory they can accommodate.

You can place, view, and manage your inventory requests on the Inventory tab in VAMS. To place an inventory request, you’ll need to know your desired product type, the number of doses you want to request, which type of dose you want to request (e.g., first or second dose), and the date by which you need to receive the requested inventory.

The Inventory tab shows you a list of all inventory requests you’ve submitted. This list includes a system-generated inventory request number, product type (vaccine type) requested, manufacturer, date requested and required, number of doses requested, and notes.

  • Click the Inventory tab on your clinic’s home page.
  • Click the drop-down arrow in the Inventory Requests window.
  • Click New Request.
  • The Create Site Inventory Request pop-up window includes several required fields (noted by a red asterisk).
  • Click in the Product field and select the vaccine product from the drop-down or type in the name of a product and click the magnifying glass icon in the drop-down menu to be taken to the Product pop-up window.
    • In the Product pop-up window, click the number in the Vaccine Name column of the table to select the vaccine product you want to request.
    • After selecting the vaccine product, it will populate in the Create Site Inventory Request pop-up window.
  • In the Create Site Inventory Request window, enter the number of vaccine doses you are requesting.
  • Select the dose type you are requesting (all doses, first dose, second dose, single dose, or additional dose).
    • Note: Additional dose in VAMS refers to the third dose for the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech product series as per CDC guidance in mid-August 2021 for moderate and severe immunocompromised individuals.
  • Enter the date of your inventory request.
  • Enter the date by which you want to receive the doses you are requesting.
  • Your clinic’s name will auto-populate in the clinic field. If you wish to change the clinic selection, click the “X” in the field to select from a list of clinics to which you are assigned.
  • The inventory request status will auto populate to Submitted. Click the drop-down arrow in the status box if you need to change the status.
  • If desired, you can add a note for the jurisdiction POC in the Clinic Notes field.
  • Click Save to save your inventory request. VAMS will send your request to your jurisdiction POC.
Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Clinic administrators and inventory managers can also use the Inventory Request tab on the Clinic Portal home page to request vaccine inventory.

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.

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. Clinic administrators and inventory managers can also use the Inventory Request tab on the Clinic Portal home page to request vaccine inventory.

  • 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.

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 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.

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 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.

Track COVID-19 Vaccine Inventory Requests

After your inventory request is submitted, a record of that request appears on the Inventory tab in the Inventory Requests window. The inventory request record shows important details about the request. It also offers a way to monitor and communicate with the jurisdiction POC.

  • Click the Inventory Request Number hyperlinked in the list to access the inventory request record.

From the inventory request record, you can:

  • View Inventory Request details. This section of the record has details about the inventory request.
  • Communicate with the jurisdiction POC. Send the jurisdiction POC a message by typing in the Post box and clicking Share.
  • Monitor or follow comments made to your posts. Like you would on a social media platform, click the Follow button to receive email notifications when the jurisdiction POC responds to a post you make in the inventory request record. You will not receive notifications for new posts.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Vaccine Packaging Terms

  • Unit of sale, or UoS, is the packaging in which the vaccine vials are delivered.
  • Unit of use, or UoU, is the vaccine vial.

Example: One box, or UoS, could contain 10 UoUs, or vaccine vials.

Vaccine Labeling Terms

Lot Numbers

  • UoS lot number is shown on the package label.
  • UoU lot number is shown on the vial label.

NOTE: UoS and UoU Lot numbers will be the same.

National Drug Code (NDC) Numbers

  • UoS NDC is shown on the package label.
  • UoU NDC is shown on the vial label.

NOTE: UoS and UoU NDC numbers will not be the same.

Expiration Dates

  • For some manufacturers, expiration dates can be found on both the UoS and UoU labels. Others supply expiration date information on their website.

Examples of vaccine labeling are shown below.

third-party clinic administrator example vaccine

Log COVID-19 Vaccine Inventory

When you receive a COVID-19 vaccine delivery, you can log it in VAMS in two ways:

  • Manually enter the information on the vaccine packaging and vials.
  • Use a 2D barcode scanner to scan the barcodes on the vaccine vials. This automatically enters the information in VAMS. NOTE: Current COVID-19 vaccine vials do not have barcodes that can be scanned by 2D barcode scanners, so information will have to be entered manually at this time.

Log Vaccine Inventory Manually

  • On the Inventory tab, click the Manually Log Inventory button.
  • Select the manufacturer and product from the drop-down menus. Enter the remaining vaccine information.
    • NOTE: A warning message will appear on the Manually Log Inventory screen under the Expiration Date field if the inventory expiration date is in the past, but VAMS will not prevent you from logging the inventory.
  • Click Next.
  • Review and confirm the information you entered is correct, then click Next.
  • Click Finish in the pop-up window.

NOTE: You will be able to select between a 10- or 15-dose vial when logging Moderna inventory. The 10- and 15-dose Moderna vials are the same product but have different NDCs, which is why they are differentiated in VAMS.

The 15-dose Moderna vial is expected to yield 14 doses, so VAMS will add 14 doses every time a 15-dose vial is added to your inventory. If a 15th dose is administered from a vial, please add the extra dose individually.

Quick Tips:

  • Enter UoU and UoS numbers without dashes (e.g., enter 5926710002, not 59267-1000-2).
  • UoU and UoS lot numbers must be an exact match, including case.
  • It’s possible you may enter new inventory that only partially matches an existing entry. If this happens, you will receive an error message. Follow the instructions in the message to invalidate the old record and add remaining inventory to a new record.

Log Vaccine Inventory by Scanning a 2D Barcode

VAMS is compatible with 2D barcode scanners (Bluetooth wireless and those that are not wireless). However, integrated mobile device scanning (i.e., an app that can scan a 2D barcode) will not connect with or automatically transfer information to VAMS.

NOTE: Current COVID-19 vaccine vials do not have barcodes that can be scanned by 2D barcode scanners, so information will have to be entered manually at this time.

  • On the Inventory tab click Scan Inventory.
    • NOTE: You must scan each UoS individually. Each UoS contains multiple vials or UoUs. When logging inventory, you must scan one UoU from each UoS. See the step-by-step instructions below.
  • When the Scan Inventory pop-up appears, scan the UoS barcode on the vial with your 2D barcode scanner. The barcode will appear in the UoS barcode field.
  • Select the vaccine manufacturer from the drop-down menu, then click Next.
  • The UoS Information screen will appear with prepopulated UoS information. Enter the Total UoU (vials) in UoS, then click Next.
  • Scan the UoU barcode on one of the vials from the UoS you are logging, and it will appear in the UoU barcode field. Click Next.
  • Review and confirm the information you entered is correct, then click Next.
  • Click Finish in the pop-up window.
Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Reduce Vaccine Inventory

Similar to how you log vaccine inventory, you can reduce vaccine inventory in VAMS in two ways:

  • Manually enter the information on the vaccine packaging and vials.
  • Use a 2D barcode scanner to scan the barcodes on the vaccine vials.

Reduce Vaccine Inventory Manually

  • On the Inventory tab, below the available appointments data, click the Manually Reduce Inventory button.
  • In the Manually Reduce Inventory pop-up window, enter the manufacturer name, product, and UoU lot number.
  • The expiration date will auto-populate and cannot be changed.
  • Select a reason for reduction.
  • Enter the number of doses reduced, then click Next.
    • NOTE: VAMS will not allow you to reduce more inventory than you have on hand.
  • Review and confirm the information you entered is correct, then click Next.
  • Click Finish in the pop-up window.
Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Reduce Vaccine Inventory by Scanning a 2D Barcode

  • On the Inventory tab, click the Reduce Inventory (Scan) button.
  • When the Reduce Inventory (Scan) pop-up window appears, scan the UoU barcode on the vial with your 2D barcode scanner.
  • Enter the required information in the Reduce Inventory (scan) pop-up window. The expiration date will auto-populate and cannot be changed. Click Next.
  • Review and confirm the information you entered is correct, then click Next.
  • On the next screen, click Finish.

Monitor COVID-19 Vaccine Inventory Levels

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

This tab gives you a snapshot of:

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

*The total on-hand inventory data on this tab come from the inventory you log and reduce in VAMS as well as what your clinic healthcare professional logs during vaccine administration. The healthcare professional’s method of logging inventory and waste is similar to yours. They can either scan a 2D barcode or log the information manually.

Inventory will automatically update if a healthcare professional edits a recipient’s vaccination record to change a lot number or type of vaccine. Once the change is made, it will update across the system and there will be no further action required by the inventory manager or clinic administrator.

If you need to edit a vaccine lot number’s expiration date, follow these steps:

  • Navigate to the On-Hand Inventory Totals window on the Inventory tab.
  • Click the hyperlinked UoS Lot Number of the inventory you wish to update.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page you are directed to until you see Expiration Date.
  • Click the pencil icon to the right of the expiration date and enter the correct expiration date for that lot number.
  • Click Save.
Frequently Asked Questions

Do the following to create a clinic staff account:

  • 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.

You cannot create a clinic staff account to request a vaccine appointment for yourself. You must register as a recipient to schedule a vaccination appointment or create a walk-in appointment.

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

  • 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.

Section 2: Access Multiple Clinics and Access Support

This section will show you how to perform other infrequent activities in VAMS, such as accessing VAMS support, or actions that will only apply to certain users, such   as those who work at multiple clinics.

Access Multiple Clinics in VAMS

You may need to perform the same or different user roles at multiple clinics. After a clinic administrator at another clinic adds you as a user for their clinic, you can easily access multiple clinics after logging into VAMS.

  • From any page in VAMS, click the drop-down arrow next to your name in the upper right corner to access the drop-down menu.
  • Click Switch Portals.
    • If you have multi-portal access (i.e., you have access to more than one portal—Clinic Portal and Recipient Portal, for example) this will take you to the Portal Selection page. Click the Clinic Portal button, then you will see the Clinic Selection page.
    • If you only have multi-clinic access (i.e., you have a clinic role at more than one clinic but do not have access to another portal) clicking Switch Portals will take you straight to the Clinic Selection page.
  • From the Clinic Selection page, choose which clinic you want to switch to by clicking the Access Portal button under the clinic name.

Access Support

Help Page

The Help page has answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Clinic Portal roles and access in VAMS.

  • If you need help when using VAMS, click the Help link in the upper right corner of the navigation bar to find support.
  • You can read through the list of FAQs or you can search for a particular topic in the search bar located below the FAQs tab.

Submit a Question

  • If you don’t find the information you’re looking for, you can submit a question.
  • From the Help page, click Submit a Question.
  • Click Submit a Case and select New Clinic Case.
  • When logged into the system, your name and email address will be prepopulated in your case.
  • Select the category of your question (and subcategory, if applicable), select your jurisdiction, type the subject of your question, then type your question in the text box.
  • After clicking Confirm, a message will appear on the screen confirming your question was sent.
  • A response to your question will be sent to you via email from CARS_HelpDesk@cdc.gov.
  • Once you receive a response to your question, you can communicate back and forth with the support team by replying to the email.

NOTE: Do not edit the subject line of the email or the support team member who initially responded to your question will not receive it.

Frequently Asked Questions

VAMS works best in the Google Chrome web browser but can be accessed via any browser except Internet Explorer.

Is there a mobile app I can download for my phone or tablet? 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 also works on Android and iOS mobile devices.

VAMS does not integrate with Microsoft Outlook.

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.

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

Help Desk

If you need additional support, contact the VAMS Help Desk. To ensure jurisdictions and clinics are fully supported, VAMS Help Desk support is limited to jurisdiction and clinic personnel only.

Toll-Free Number | +1 833-748-1979 Hours of Operation | 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM EST | Monday – Friday

Page last reviewed: October 19, 2021