Proper vaccine administration is critical to ensure that vaccination is safe and effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Colorado Immunization Branch (CIB) recommend that all healthcare personnel who administer vaccines receive comprehensive, competency-based training on vaccine administration policies and procedures BEFORE administering vaccines. Comprehensive, skills-based training should be integrated into existing new staff orientation and annual vaccination education updates. The following are training resources for those administering vaccine:
- Vaccination resources for all healthcare personnel: The CDC’s child, adolescent and adult immunization schedules and “Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases” (a.k.a. the “Pink Book”) are helpful to anyone administering vaccines. The “Pink Book” provides information about each vaccine and the diseases (e.g. pathogenesis, clinical features, and epidemiology) they prevent. The book’s appendices provide detailed, user-friendly information about vaccine administration, including guidelines, medical management of vaccine reactions, and foreign language terms for vaccines.
- Recommended and Minimum Ages and Intervals Between Doses of Routinely Recommended Vaccines provides the minimum age/interval and recommended age/interval for each dose of every routinely recommended vaccine. It’s an excellent resource to hang in clinic vaccine prep areas for easy reference.
- Vaccination resources for medical assistants, nurses, pharmacists and others administering vaccines: Several resources are especially useful for those actually administering vaccines. The Immunization Action Coalition’s (IAC) “Skills Checklist for Vaccine Administration” can be useful when orienting new staff because it provides a comprehensive list of competencies necessary for successful vaccine administration. Additional IAC vaccine administration resources include Vaccine Information Statements (in multiple languages); dose, route, site, and needle size for administration information; and tools to prevent vaccine administration errors.
- Vaccination resources for providers [NPs, PAs, MDs, DOs (including medical residents)]: The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Vaccination Recommendations and Guidelines provide detailed recommendations for each vaccine. General Best Practice Guidelines for Immunization include information about the timing and spacing of each vaccine dose; screening for contraindications and precautions; and interpreting and responding to adverse events. Teaching Immunization for Medical Education (TIME) and the CDC’s “You Call the Shots” may be especially useful to medical students and residents. CDC has several resources to assist providers in making a strong vaccination recommendation. Research has consistently shown that a provider’s recommendation to vaccinate is the single most influential factor in a patient’s decision to get vaccinated.
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact CDPHE’s immunization branch at 303-692-2700 or firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Healthcare Providers/Professionals Vaccine Administration. (2018, May 16). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/admin/admin-protocols.html