Administration of vaccines
See: Practical and clinical guidance for vaccine administration.
All staff involved
in administering vaccines should be suitably trained and competent to fulfil
the role and be able to answer questions with accuracy and confidence in line
with nationally agreed standards.
It is recommended that immunisation training should be either through a face to face taught course or a blended approach of both e-learning and a face to face taught course.
New immunisers should also have a period of supervised practice and support with a registered healthcare practitioner who is experienced, up to date and competent in immunisation.
Immunisation e-learning resource
Interactive e-learning programme to support the training of healthcare practitioners involved in advising on and/or delivering immunisation across the life course. The programme is free to access, just register to use the e-lfh portal. The course is designed around the updated National Minimum standards and the competency assessment tool.
View the Immunisation e-learning programme.
Keeping up to date
programme in the UK is constantly evolving to best protect the public by
controlling vaccine preventable diseases. Health professionals must keep up to
date with these changes.
The vaccine supply newsletter,
‘Vaccine Update’ comes out approximately every four to six weeks and can be
emailed directly to individuals upon request. Email: Vaccine.Supply@dh.gsi.gov.uk. This newsletter gives advice on current vaccine
availability, any changes to the schedule and updates to the Green Book.
‘Vaccine Update’ is
available to health care professionals across the UK. However, for country
specific information, see:
Travel health vaccination
There were 72.8 million visits overseas by UK residents in 2017, an increase of 3% on 2016 and the highest recorded (Office for National Statistics 2018). Travel health medicine is a fast growing specialist area of practice. The
RCN guidance, 'Competencies: travel health nursing: career and competence development' (RCN, 2018) provides information on current guidelines and standards and defines the standards of care expected for a competent registered nurse, experienced/proficient nurse and a senior practitioner/expert nurse working in travel health nursing.
The National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) provides advice on travel health, including travel vaccination.
TRAVAX (LOGIN REQUIRED) and fitfortravel from Health Protection Scotland (HPS) provides similar information to NaTHNaC.
NHS Wales has an organisational subscription to TRAVAX which is therefore freely available to NHS Wales users (via HOWIS (Health of Wales Information Service)).
The British Medical Association (BMA) publication, Focus on Travel Immunisation offers clarity around the immunisation issues within the General Medical Services (GMS) contract and how travel immunisations may be funded.
More people in the world are migrating today than at any other point in human history and the Health Protection Agency (now part of Public Health England) has produced a Migrant Health Guide, which supports practitioners making decisions around best protecting the health of migrants. An accompanying video looks at how to catch up immunisations for migrants to the UK.
It is good practice to
support any advice you give with written information. Check that the
information printed from websites is up to date, evidence based and from a
As a general guide
when searching the web for information, ask yourself and encourage
patients, parents and carers to ask the following questions:
- who or what is behind the information?
- is the information biased, or possibly selected to present one view
- does the author have a vested interest in the information they are
- is it dated? There may be more current advice available.
- is it referenced and are uncertainties acknowledged?
In addition look for
websites providing reliable and trustworthy health information which have the
Health on the net HONcode.