It is important to know the federal requirements for documenting the vaccines administered to your patients. The requirements are defined in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act enacted in 1986. The law applies to all routinely recommended childhood vaccines, regardless of the age of the patient receiving the vaccines. The only vaccines not included in this law are COVID-19, pneumococcal polysaccharide, zoster, and certain infrequently used vaccines, such as rabies and Japanese encephalitis.
The following information must be documented on the patient’s paper or electronic medical record or on a permanent office log:
- The vaccine manufacturer.
- The lot number of the vaccine.
- The date the vaccine is administered.
- The name, office address, and title of the healthcare provider administering the vaccine.
- The Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) edition date located in the lower right corner on the back of the VIS. When administering combination vaccines, all applicable VISs should be given and the individual VIS edition dates recorded.
- The date the VIS is given to the patient, parent, or guardian.
The federally required information should be both permanent and accessible.
Federal law does not require a parent, patient, or guardian to sign a consent form in order to receive a vaccination; providing them with the appropriate VIS(s) and answering their questions is sufficient under federal law.