Resources for Both New and Seasoned Vaccinators

A partner post by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

COVID-19 vaccination has been challenging for both seasoned vaccinators and those newer to vaccine administration. The following resources may be especially useful to those who do not have a lot of vaccine administration experience but are involved in the COVID-19 vaccination response. These resources may also be useful to vaccinators with more experience:

  • Understanding How Vaccines Work: Knowing how vaccines work can be especially helpful to those new to vaccinations. This knowledge can help vaccinators understand and predict vaccine precautions and contraindications as well as vaccine side effects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Understanding How Vaccines Work briefly explains how the body’s immune system works and how vaccines protect people by providing immunity. The reason some vaccines require more than one dose is also explained. The new mRNA COVID-19 vaccines differ from other vaccines. CDC’s Understanding and Explaining mRNA COVID-19 Vaccinesexplains the mechanism of action of these vaccines and their benefits. CDC will continue to provide explanations for how COVID-19 vaccines work as additional COVID-19 vaccines become available. 
  • Vaccination General Principles and Recommendations: The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) General Best Practice Guidelines on Immunization includes guidance for vaccine administration, and the spacing of immunobiologics. The guidelines provide the rationale for certain recommendations and can provide guidance for correcting vaccine administration errors. The guidelines are geared toward routinely recommended vaccines such as MMR, hepatitis B, etc. ACIP also provides recommendations specific to each vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines. Recommendations and clinical considerations specific to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines include a detailed guidance about vaccine precautions and contraindications. ACIP will update recommendations as guidance changes and additional vaccines become available. 
  • Answers to Vaccine Questions: All vaccinators have questions about vaccines at some point. The Immunization Action Coalition’s (IAC) “Ask the Experts” addresses questions about vaccines and provides guidance for resolving common vaccination errors. “Ask the Experts” includes a
    section on COVID-19 vaccination questions.

If you have questions or need additional information on this topic, please contact the CIIS Help Desk at 1-888-611-9918 or