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Technically Speaking
July 2014
Technically Speaking
Monthly Column by Deborah Wexler, MD
Deborah Wexler MD
Technically Speaking is a monthly column written by IAC’s Executive Director Deborah Wexler, MD. The column is featured in The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Vaccine Education Center’s (VEC's) monthly e-newsletter for healthcare professionals. Technically Speaking columns cover practical topics in immunization delivery such as needle length, vaccine administration, cold chain, and immunization schedules.
Check out a recent issue of Vaccine Update for Healthcare Providers. The VEC e-newsletter keeps providers up to date on vaccine-related issues and includes reviews of recently published journal articles, media recaps, announcements about new resources, and a regularly updated calendar of events.
Protect Your Significant Investment in Vaccines So That They Can Protect Your Patients
Published July 2014
$8,079 — That’s the total private sector cost for 10 doses of each of the 13 vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for routine use in children from birth through 17 years of age.*
Since most vaccines are available in 10-dose packages, this means that even small medical practices are storing approximately $8,000 of vaccine at any one time. Of course, the total value of vaccines available in a practice is usually much greater than that, and very large practices may be storing more than 10 times that value in inventory. How can you ensure that your sizeable vaccine investment is appropriately protected from potential loss (and subsequent replacement costs) and that your patients receive viable vaccines?
To assist with your efforts to properly store and protect your vaccine supply, CDC recently released a wide range of new tools, including:
Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit (PDF) —This comprehensive Toolkit (updated in May 2014) includes detailed information on storage and handling recommendations and best practice strategies, as well as considerations for selecting and maintaining storage units (i.e., refrigerators and freezers) and temperature monitoring equipment, receiving or transporting vaccine, preparing vaccines for administration, and more. The updated Toolkit incorporates a new, user-friendly graphics layout, with easy-to-spot icons to alert the reader to requirements, recommendations, best practices, scenarios that require immediate action, and hyperlinked information.
Keys to Storing and Handling Your Vaccine Supply—This new 45-minute “Web-on-demand” video offers the perfect training tool for your staff. The video provides demonstrations of best practices for proper storage and handling of vaccines, reinforcing techniques and policies outlined in the Toolkit. It also includes interactive questions to help reinforce important vaccine management concepts. The video is a great companion piece to the newly updated Toolkit, and continuing education credit is available.
Storage and Handling Fact Sheets — These colorful fact sheets use simple, easy-to-understand illustrations to highlight the best practices for temperature monitoring and proper storage of refrigerated and frozen vaccines, including:
Vaccine Temperature Best Practices for Refrigerated Vaccines – Fahrenheit [PDF]
Vaccine Temperature Best Practices for Frozen Vaccines – Fahrenheit [PDF]
Vaccine Storage Best Practices for Refrigerated Vaccines – Fahrenheit [PDF]
Vaccine Storage Best Practices for Frozen Vaccines – Fahrenheit [PDF]
You Call the Shots: Vaccine Storage and Handling Module (scroll to bottom of page and hit “continue”) — This interactive, Web-based module provides learning opportunities, self-test practice questions, reference and resource materials, and an extensive glossary.
Examples of Vaccine Labels (PDF) — It can be easy to confuse vaccines within storage units. Labeling the area where vaccines are stored (either on the front of a storage bin or directly on the shelf) can help staff quickly locate and choose the correct vaccine — and perhaps prevent a vaccine administration error.
The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) also maintains a wide variety of helpful tools in its Clinic Resources: Storage & Handling Web section, such as temperature logs for refrigerators and freezers and the following two recently updated pieces:
Don’t Be Guilty of These Errors in Vaccine Storage and Handling (PDF) — This newly updated handout highlights frequently reported errors in vaccine storage and handling. Be sure your clinic or practice is not making any of these preventable errors!
Vaccine Handling Tips (PDF) — Suitable for posting on vaccine storage units, this quick reference tool illustrates which vaccines should be stored in the refrigerator versus those that should be stored in the freezer. It also provides quick tips for managing your vaccine supply.
All of these tools provide great information to assist your medical practice with appropriate vaccine storage and handling. Take a minute to have your staff review the tools, and institute recommended policies and systems in your healthcare setting. You will be rewarded with dollars saved from reduced vaccine wastage. But more importantly, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that your efforts have helped ensure that your patients receive effective protection against vaccine preventable diseases — and nothing is more valuable than that!
2014 ISSUES >> view all
Use this Handy Checklist to Help Improve your Practice’s Vaccination Rates
Know the "7 Rights"” of Vaccine Administration
CDC Issues New Pneumococcal Vaccine Recommendations for Adults Age 65 Years and Older
What's New in the 2014–15 CDC Influenza Vaccine Recommendations
Make Sure You Choose the Proper Needle Length When Vaccinating Your Patients
JULY 2014
Protect Your Significant Investment in Vaccines So That They Can Protect Your Patients
JUNE 2014
Immunization Action Coalition Launches “Question of the Week” in its Free Weekly Newsletter
MAY 2014
Use These Resources to Help you Avoid Vaccine Administration Errors in Your Practice
APRIL 2014
Resources to Help Assure Competency of Clinic Staff Administering Vaccines
MARCH 2014
Simple Tips to Expedite Vaccination in Your Practice
Newly Updated! CDC’s 2014 Immunization Schedules and IAC’s Easy-to-Use Summaries
A Strong Provider Recommendation Matters. Don’t Just "Offer" HPV Vaccine to Parents for Preteens. Recommend It!
This page was reviewed on August 21, 2014
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This website is supported in part by a cooperative agreement from the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (Grant No. 6NH23IP22550) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA. The website content is the sole responsibility of IAC and does not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.