Prepare the Vaccine(s)
- Vaccines with Diluents: How to Use Them
- Suggested Supplies Checklist for Clinics
- CDC Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit
- Assemble a Manufacturer-Filled Syringe
- Single-Dose Vials (SDVs)
- Expiration Dates
- Multidose Vials (MDVs)
- Beyond Use Dates (BUDs)
- Reconstitute Lyophilized Vaccine
- General Best Practice Guidelines for Immunization: Best Practices Guidance of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
- Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings
- Injection Safety
- Sharps Safety for Healthcare Settings
- “Vaccine Administration” chapter, Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (the Pink Book)
Proper preparation is critical for maintaining the integrity of the vaccine during transfer from the vial to the syringe. Always use aseptic technique and follow infection prevention guidelines when preparing vaccines. Aseptic technique refers to the manner of handling, preparing, and storing medications and injection equipment/supplies (e.g., syringes, needles) to prevent microbial contamination and infection.
- Prepare vaccines in a clean, designated medication area away from where the patient is being vaccinated and away from any potentially contaminated items. This is to prevent inadvertent contamination of the vial through direct or indirect contact with potentially contaminated surfaces or equipment.
- Health care personnel should ensure their clinic has the supplies needed to administer vaccines.
- Health care personnel should complete proper hand hygiene before preparing vaccines.
- Use a separate needle and syringe for each injection.
- Always check the expiration dates on the vaccine and diluent, if needed. Some syringes and needles have expiration dates, so check those, too. NEVER use expired vaccine, diluent, or equipment.
- Prepare vaccines only when you are ready to administer them.
- Only administer vaccines you have prepared. This is a medication administration best practice standard. If vaccine is drawn up by one person but administered by another, the person administering the vaccine cannot be sure what is in the syringe and whether it is safe.
- Page last reviewed: April 14, 2017
- Page last updated: August 22, 2017
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