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Technically Speaking
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July 2015
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.
TECHNICALLY SPEAKING
Screening Patients for Contraindications and Precautions to Vaccination
Published July 2015
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 www.immunize.org/acip/acip_vax.asp.
Use these handy checklists to screen patients for contraindications and precautions to vaccination
Before giving any doses of vaccines, clinicians should make sure patients and parents are carefully questioned about contraindications or precautions to vaccination. This helps ensure that any potential risks of vaccination are minimized.
A contraindication is a condition that increases the risk for a serious adverse reaction to a vaccine. For example, it is a contraindication for a patient who had a severe allergic reaction (such as anaphylaxis) after a previous dose to receive subsequent doses of the same vaccine.
A precaution is a condition that might increase the risk for a serious adverse reaction, or that might compromise the ability of the vaccine to produce immunity. An example would be administering measles vaccine to a person with passive immunity to measles from a blood transfusion. In general, when a precaution condition is present, vaccinations are deferred. However, situations may arise when the benefit of protection from the vaccine outweighs the risk of an adverse reaction, and a provider may decide to give the vaccine.
Several lists are available that describe contraindications and precautions for various vaccines. But if you are looking for a simple way to screen patients, the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) has developed screening checklists (with “yes” or “no” answers) that can be filled out by patients/parents while they are waiting to be seen. This method not only saves clinicians time, but it also helps ensure that all necessary questions are answered prior to vaccination. Also of benefit, a second page accompanying the checklist provides helpful information for healthcare professionals about why each question is included on the checklist and what to do if the patient’s answer suggests a possible reason to withhold a vaccine.
Be sure to check out these handy checklists to determine which ones can be of benefit in your practice setting!
Screenings checklists for:
Specific age groups
Screening Checklist for Contraindications to HPV, MCV4, and Tdap Vaccines for Teens (NEW!)
Screening Checklist for Contraindications to Vaccines for Children and Teens
Screening Checklist for Contraindications to Vaccines for Adults
Specific vaccines
Screening Checklist for Contraindications to HPV, MCV4, and Tdap Vaccines for Teens (NEW!)
Screening Checklist for Contraindications to Inactivated Injectable Influenza Vaccination (to be updated soon for 2015–2016 season)
Screening Checklist for Contraindications to Live Attenuated Intranasal Influenza Vaccination (to be updated soon for 2015–2016 season)
Many of these screening checklists also are available in multiple languages on the IAC Screening Questionnaires Web page.
General references on contraindications and precautions (for healthcare professionals)
Guide to Contraindications and Precautions to Commonly Used Vaccines
Guide to Contraindications and Precautions to Commonly Used Vaccines in Adults
Chart of Contraindications and Precautions to Commonly Used Vaccines (CDC)
Conditions Commonly Misperceived as Contraindications to Vaccination (CDC)
2015 ISSUES >> view all
DECEMBER 2015
Preventive Medicine: Be Sure Your Staff Is Not Making Any of These Frequently Reported Vaccine Administration Errors
NOVEMBER 2015
IAC's Needle Tips Just Released Online!
OCTOBER 2015
IAC's Free Workshops on Using Standing Orders
SEPTEMBER 2015
New Initiative About Giving Second Dose of Meningococcal (MCV4)
AUGUST 2015
Is Your Practice Following Federal Law When Using Vaccine Information Statements?
JULY 2015
Screening Patients for Contraindications and Precautions to Vaccination
JUNE 2015
Suggestions About Finding Old Immunization Records
MAY 2015
Just Released! Fifth Edition of "The Vaccine Handbook: A Practical Guide for Clinicians"
APRIL 2015
Important New Vaccine Recommendations from CDC's February 2015 ACIP Meeting
MARCH 2015
New Issues of Needle Tips and Vaccinate Adults Now Available
FEBRUARY 2015
CDC’s 2015 Immunization Schedules for Children and Adults, and IAC’s Concise Summaries of Recommendations are Free and Ready to Use
JANUARY 2015
Do You Know Which Vaccines are Specifically Recommended for Healthcare Personnel in Your Workplace?
 
This page was updated on August 3, 2015.
This page was reviewed on August 3, 2015.
 
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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. 1NH23IP922654) 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.