Ask the Experts: COVID-19: Administering Vaccines

Results (3)

All COVID-19 vaccines are administered intramuscularly. Preparation details and dose volume vary by product.

Last reviewed: March 19, 2024

Yes. CDC has published an appendix to its interim clinical considerations for the use of COVID-19 vaccines to address a wide range of errors in vaccine administration. It includes a detailed table outlining actions to take after an error has occurred:

Categories of errors covered in the CDC table include:

  • Site/route
  • Age
  • Product and dosage
  • Incorrect intervals
  • Interchanging product types when not recommended
  • Incorrect diluent (certain Pfizer-BioNTech formulations)
  • Use of diluent when not indicated

Ask the Experts refers our readers to this CDC table for the most current and comprehensive guidance on COVID-19 vaccine administration errors and how to manage them. For all vaccine administration errors the following steps are recommended: inform the patient of the error, report the error to VAERS ( unless CDC’s guidance states that the error does not need to be reported, evaluate why the error occurred, and implement strategies to prevent future errors.

Last reviewed: March 19, 2024

No. CDC does not recommend repeating the dose of any COVID-19 vaccine in circumstances where the dose is administered in an incorrect route or an incorrect site (i.e., not in the deltoid or anterolateral thigh). In the case of a subcutaneous injection, the patient should be advised of the possibility of self-limited local or systemic side effects.

Last reviewed: March 19, 2024

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