Vaccinating Adults: A Step-by-Step Guide (2017)

A comprehensive easy-to-use “how-to” guide for vaccinating adults

Vaccinating Adults: A Step-by-Step Guide, published by IAC (now in 2017, provides 142 pages of practical information in an easy-to-use format to help you implement or enhance adult immunization services in your healthcare setting. Specific vaccination recommendations and vaccine coding and billing practices (e.g., Medicare coverage) described in the Guide have changed since 2017 and may no longer be applicable. However, the principles of excellent adult vaccination practice outlined in the Guide are relevant today. The Guide includes web addresses and references to assist you in staying up to date with current information. Developed by staff at IAC, the Guide had several early reviews for technical accuracy by subject matter experts at CDC and the National Vaccine Program Office.

Free download / print entire book

  • 142 pages, 10.6 MB PDF
  • Suitable for double-sided printing


Covers (front and back) p. cov1–cov4

Includes outside and inside covers; provides quick reference links for IAC, CDC, adult immunization partners, and vaccine manufacturers

Front Matter p. i–iv

Includes title pages and acknowledgments

Step 1: Getting Started p. 1–14

  • Why the emphasis on adult vaccination?
  • How do I determine which vaccines adults need?
  • The Guide does not discuss vaccines for children or travelers
  • Concluding thoughts
  • Key Resources

Step 2: Setting Up for Vaccination Services p. 15–28

  • Obtain support and cooperation from clinic staff and management
  • Seek out community resources
  • Assign a vaccination coordinator and back-up for that person
  • Plan workflow and workspace
  • Determine how and where vaccines will be stored, and purchase appropriate vaccine storage and temperature monitoring equipment
  • Purchase vaccine administration supplies
  • Purchase emergency response supplies
  • Determine who can provide vaccinations in your setting
  • Arrange for staff training
  • Organize vaccination paperwork and reference materials
  • Create standing orders documents for times when a supervising clinician is not available to write orders
  • Order vaccines – Yes, do this last!
  • Key Resources

Step 3: Vaccine Storage and Handling p. 29–42

  • Receive vaccine shipments
  • Monitor and record temperatures at least twice each day
  • If there’s a problem, take appropriate action right away; report power failures or other storage issues immediately!
  • Transport vaccines properly (and only when absolutely necessary)
  • Key Resources

Step 4: Deciding Whom to Vaccinate p. 43–66

  • Determine the patient’s previous vaccination history
  • Determine which vaccines are needed
  • Screen for contraindications and precautions to vaccines
  • Advise the patient if he or she should be vaccinated
  • Educate your patients about diseases for which they may be at risk and the vaccines that can prevent them
  • Special section: Vaccination of Special Populations
  • Key Resources

Step 5: Administering Vaccines p. 67–86

  • Determine who can administer vaccines (either independently or under standing orders)
  • Always provide a Vaccine Information Statement (VIS)
  • Administer the vaccine properly
  • Prepare and watch for an allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) after vaccination
  • Always report anaphylaxis and other adverse events after vaccination to VAERS
  • Prepare and watch for syncope (fainting)
  • Communicate about appointments for subsequent doses
  • Understand proper spacing of doses
  • Key Resources

Step 6: Documentation and Related Issues p. 87–94

  • Record federally required information about your patient’s vaccinations in the patient’s permanent medical record or in an office log
  • Update your patient’s personal vaccination record card or provide a record to your patient
  • Update your patient’s vaccination record in your state or local Immunization
  • Information System (IIS, or registry), if one is available
  • Key Resources

Step 7A: Financial Considerations p. 95–106

  • Standards for Adult Immunization Practice: How it should work
  • Finding free or discounted vaccines
  • Investigating possible third-party coverage for the cost of vaccines and/or vaccine administration
  • Finding your way through the billing maze
  • Key Resources

Step 7B: How to Bill for Adult Immunizations p. 107–120

  • Health insurance coverage of adult vaccines
  • Billing Medicare for immunizations
  • Billing third-party payers for immunizations (not Medicare)

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This page was updated on .