Vaccine Errors and How to Prevent Them

2017; Issue 1

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Effective management and control of vaccinations in an office based practice is essential. Recent reports of mis-administration of various vaccines has prompted us to ask you to review your vaccine administration protocol and ensure the understanding of the clinical staff administering these vaccines.

  • Make sure the refrigeration equipment is compatible with the storage guidelines noted in the vaccine package inserts
  • Monitor and record refrigerator and freezer temperatures twice daily
  • Develop and maintain an emergency vaccine retrieval and storage plan in the event of equipment malfunction and power outages
  • Open only one vial of a vaccine at a time
  • Rotate your stock and check expiration dates weekly and before any administrations
  • Consider manufacturer supplied pre-filled syringes in situations of heavy use of a single vaccine
  • Ensure your staff is adequately trained on administering vaccines to include vaccine names, trade or generic, proper dosing, pediatric vs. adult, and route of administration
  • All vaccine vials should be checked three (3) times before dosing and administration
  • Pay close attention when scheduling vaccines and consult the CDC to ensure your scheduling protocols are current. Some State immunization schedules follow a stricter schedule and should be consulted as well.
CDC Vaccine Age Interval Table
  • All vaccine providers are required by the National Vaccine Childhood Injury Act (NCVIA) to give every patient child or adult, or their legal guardian, a copy of the Vaccination Information Sheet (VIS) prior to administration.
  • Make sure your VISs are the most current version