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Technically Speaking
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April 2017
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
Make Sure You Are Using VISs in Accordance with Federal Law
Published April 2017
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.
Vaccine Information Statements (VISs) are developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and provide a standardized way to present basic information to patients about vaccine benefits and possible adverse events. Before a healthcare provider vaccinates a child or an adult with a dose of any vaccine containing diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, Hib, influenza, pneumococcal conjugate, meningococcal ACWY, meningococcal B, rotavirus, human papillomavirus, or varicella vaccine, the provider is required by law (the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act) to provide a copy of the VIS to the patient (or the parent/legal representative of the child) who is receiving the vaccine. For other vaccines not covered under the law (pneumococcal polysaccharide, zoster, and travel vaccines, excluding hepatitis A), giving a patient a VIS is recommended, but not required.

The VIS must be given to the patient before the dose of vaccine is administered and must be offered before every dose of the vaccine (i.e., not just the first dose). Usually a paper copy of the VIS is given, but it is also acceptable to have the patient read the VIS on an electronic device, such as computer screen, smart phone, or tablet, or on a laminated copy during the office visit, but the patient must also be offered a paper or an electronic copy of the VIS to take home.

Federal law requires not only that the clinician provide a VIS to the patient, but also that the date the VIS is given to the patient and the VIS publication date are recorded in the patient's chart. It is important to use the most recent version of a VIS.

VIS resources from IAC

The website of the Immunization Action Coalition has the following resources related to VISs, all of which are available at www.immunize.org/vis:

VIS resources from CDC

Want to be notified when new or updated VISs, or their translations, are released? Sign up for IAC's free weekly email news service, IAC Express. To subscribe, visit www.immunize.org/subscribe.

2017 ISSUES >> view all issues
DECEMBER 2017
Looking for Practical Vaccine Resources? Visit IAC's Website for Healthcare Professionals
NOVEMBER 2017
IAC Releases Newly Updated 142-page book, Vaccinating Adults: A Step-by-Step Guide — available for purchase or free download
OCTOBER 2017
The Immunization Platform for 16-year-olds Is Easily Overlooked — Here Are Some Resources to Help!
SEPTEMBER 2017
It's Time for Annual Flu Shots — Make Sure Your Patients and Staff Are Vaccinated
AUGUST 2017
Standing Orders Protocols Can Improve Your Vaccination Rates
JULY 2017
Routine Schedules for MenACWY and MenB Vaccines – Make Sure You’re Giving Them on Time
JUNE 2017
"General Best Practice Guidelines for Immunization" – Everything CDC Wants You to Know about the Practical Aspects of Vaccination
MAY 2017
ACIP Has Updated Its Recommendations on the Use of Tdap Vaccine in Pregnant Women and Children
APRIL 2017
Make Sure You Are Using VISs in Accordance with Federal Law
MARCH 2017
ACIP Now Recommends Hepatitis B Vaccine within 24 Hours of Birth
FEBRUARY 2017
New “16-year-old Vaccination Platform” Highlighted in 2017 U.S. Child/Teen Immunization Schedule
JANUARY 2017
Updated ACIP Recommendations on HPV Vaccine
 
This page was updated on May 10, 2017.
This page was reviewed on May 10, 2017.
 
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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. 6NH23IP22550) 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.