During the Clinic Activities

Illustration of a thermometer.

Vaccine Storage and Handling

Monitor and document vaccine temperatures as required throughout the day.

CDC’s Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit provides guidance on safe and effective vaccine management practices for all health care providers.

Illustration of a badge.

General Operations

During the clinic, ensure:

  • Staff is wearing identification cards or other identification (vests, shirts, etc.), as appropriate.
  • Clinic updates and wait times are being communicated.
Illustration of a vaccine.

Vaccination Process

During the vaccination process, ensure appropriate staff perform the following actions:

  • Screen for eligibility, if vaccination is limited to certain populations
  • Screen for contraindications and precautions
  • Distribute VIS(s) or EUA fact sheets prior to vaccine administration
  • Obtain consent or assent, based on state or local requirements (there is no federal requirement for signed consent)
  • Vaccine preparation
    • Prepare vaccine in a designated area. Draw up vaccines only after arriving at the clinic site or mass vaccination event. Do not prepare vaccines days or even hours before administering because general-use syringes are not designed for storage.
    • Maintain cold chain until time for administration.
    • Safely handle and dispose of needles and syringes.
    • Draw up no more than 1 multidose vial or number of doses indicated by the manufacturer’s package insert at one time per vaccinator. Predrawn syringes should be labeled with:
      • Name and amount of vaccine
      • The exact beyond-use date and time
      • Type of dose (if applicable)
      • Age range (if applicable)
      • Lot number
      • Initials of preparer
  • Monitor patient flow to avoid drawing up unnecessary doses.
  • Perform hand hygiene before vaccine preparation, between patients, and any time hands become soiled. If gloves are worn, change and perform hand hygiene between patients.
  • Follow manufacturer instructions and federal vaccine administration guidance related to dose, site, and route (see Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases and CDC Vaccine Administration Resource Library).
  • Document each vaccination.
  • Provide patients documentation for their personal records (e.g., vaccine card).
  • Provide patients a reminder for scheduling their next vaccination appointment, if needed.
  • Observe patients after vaccination:
    • Walk-through clinics: Consider observing patients in a waiting area for 15 minutes after vaccination for syncope (fainting) or other adverse events.
    • Curbside or drive-through clinics: Drivers should be directed to a waiting area for 15 minutes and checked before they leave. This is critical at a drive-through immunization clinic because of the potential for injury when the vaccinated person is driving a car.
    • See additional guidance on allergy-related observation periods for COVID-19 vaccines.
Illustration of a refrigerator.

End of Clinic Workday

Ensure that you:

  • Discard all remaining vaccine in syringes according to your state requirements; contact your immunization program to ensure disposal compliance.
  • Store and handle any remaining viable vaccine appropriately to protect the cold chain.