Standing Orders Can Help You Vaccinate Your Patients

June 2011

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.
Standing Orders Can Help You Vaccinate Your Patients
Published June 2011
Information presented in this article may have changed since the original publication date. For the most current immunization recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, visit
Using standing orders in medical practices and community settings allows healthcare professionals (e.g., nurses, pharmacists, or others) designated by state law to assess patients’ contraindications and precautions and administer recommended vaccines without obtaining a physician’s written order.
Numerous studies have shown that standing orders are effective in helping avoid missed opportunities to vaccinate and in increasing immunization rates. CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends the use of standing orders in long-term care settings and encourages their use in other adult healthcare settings. Standing orders may also be useful when vaccinating children and teens.
People authorized to administer vaccines under standing orders varies by state law. To find out which staff are legally permitted to administer vaccines under standing orders in your state, contact your state immunization manager.
If you are interested in starting a standing orders vaccination program, the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) has materials that make it easy. IAC has developed suggested text for standing orders for all vaccines that are routinely recommended for administration to children, teens and adults. IAC’s standing orders are based on ACIP’s vaccine recommendations and are reviewed for technical accuracy by CDC staff. You can find standing orders for vaccines on IAC’s standing orders web page.
IAC updates the text of its standing orders when ACIP makes changes in a vaccine’s recommendations. To be notified when new or revised standing orders become available, subscribe to IAC’s free weekly news service, IAC Express.


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