The CDC updates vaccine schedules every fall for use beginning in late winter/early spring the following year.
Providers can check the age based childhood vaccine schedule 0-18 years old included on this page are detailed catch up guidance, and the changes made to the schedule. Providers can access the adult immunization schedule to check immunizations appropriate for patients 19 years of age and older.
The IAC’s H-A-L-O (pdf) sheet makes lifestyle and health vaccine related decision making easy. HALO is an easy-to-use chart that helps make the initial decision about vaccinating a patient based on four factors – health, age, lifestyle, and occupation.
Storage and handling
The CDC and the Immunization Action Coalition both have excellent toolkits for storage and handling of vaccine. The toolkits should provide the tools and knowledge needed to maintain cold-chain and protect a clinic’s vaccines.
Vaccine Information Statements (VIS)
VIS are required by law to be given to an individual when a vaccine is administered. The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) has a detailed flier (pdf) explaining the requirements under the law. VIS are periodically updated by the CDC. Providers can subscribe to VIS updates by viewing the CDC VIS webpage. Providers can download a full file of current VIS sheets in a single file. The subscribe button is on the left hand corner. Non-English VIS can be found through the IAC website.
Clinic Tools and Resources
IAC is a fabulous resource for many in-depth clinical tools including a staff vaccine assessment, documentation, and screening for contradictions. There is no such thing as a bad question and Ask the Experts has a deep dive into several topics including administering vaccines and billing and reimbursement. The CDC has a guide to several quality improvement activities for immunizations.
The Southern Wisconsin Immunization Consortium Endorses Standing Orders as an Effective Strategy to Increase Immunization Rates
From IAC, “Standing orders authorize nurses, pharmacists and other appropriately trained healthcare personnel, where allowed by state law, to assess a patient’s immunization status and administer vaccinations according to a protocol approved by an institution, physician or other authorized practitioner. Standing orders work by enabling assessment and vaccination of the patient without the need for clinician examination or direct order from the attending provider the time of interaction. Standing orders can be established for the administration of one or more specific vaccines to a broad or narrow set of patients in healthcare settings such as clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, and long-term care facilities.
The Community Preventative Services Task Force recommends standing orders for vaccinations based on strong evidence of effectiveness in improving vaccination rates in adults and children, when used alone or combined with additional interventions, and across a range of settings and populations.”
More details on how to get started, templates, and FAQs can be found on the IAC website.
Patient vaccine hesitancy can be difficult for providers. We are hoping to provide several resources for providers to address vaccine hesitancy. The Vaccine Education Center hosted by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has several resources to address vaccine safety. They have additional resources for each vaccine ingredient.
The Unity Consortium has a slide deck on motivational interviewing for vaccine hesitant or refusing parents. Motivational interviewing may be a skill set providers have used for other behavior change (e.g. smoking cessation) activities.
American Academy of Pediatrics has a webpage dedicated to assisting providers in addressing parental hesitancy. Highlighted in the work is the use of the presumptive recommendation and the use of the C-A-S-E (corroborate, about me, science, and explain/advise) method.
Providers remain the best source of information for patients. Adhering to the science based ACIP/CDC schedule is the best recommendation.