Preparing and administering the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca

Anna Bischler, Lead Medicines Information Pharmacist, Midlands and East Medicines Advice Service (East site)Published Last updated See all updates

Preparing COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca using our SOPs, plus additional advice on batch numbers, withdrawing additional doses and post-vaccination observation

Standard Operating Procedures

Our standard operating procedures specific to preparation cover many points and can be found below.

Additional clarifications

In addition to our SOPs, further points of clarification related to preparation and administration are as follows.

Withdrawing an additional dose from a vial

The Patient Group Direction (PGD) and the National Protocol allows for the withdrawal of an additional dose from a vaccine vial. The PGD and MHRA Information for Healthcare Professionals outlines that each vial contains at least the number of doses stated. When low dead volume syringes and/or needles are used, the amount remaining in the vial may be sufficient for an additional dose. Care should be taken to ensure a full 0.5ml dose is administered. Where a full 0.5ml dose cannot be extracted, the remaining volume should be discarded.  It is important to remember that vials must not be pooled, a full dose must be extractable from the volume in a single vial and that staff are assured that each extraction from the vial has been for correct full dose(s).

Observation post vaccination

There is no requirement for routine post-administration observation of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine recipients in any delivery setting.

Monitoring for adverse effects

Supervision should always be readily available in case of an anaphylactic event following the administration of any vaccine.

Public Health England’s Immunisation Against Infections Disease (the Green book) states that the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) advises that individuals with a localised urticarial (itchy) skin reaction (without systemic symptoms) to the first dose of any COVID-19 vaccine should receive the second dose of vaccine with prolonged observation (30 minutes) in a setting with full resuscitation facilities (e.g. a hospital).

Administering to patients with a previous allergy status

Advising individuals with allergies on their suitability for COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca

Advice on whether people with a previous allergic reaction can have the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.

Change history

  1. Administering to patients with a previous allergy status section with link added
  1. Information related to batch numbers removed. Information now on the generic all vaccine administration and preparation page
  1. Page title changed from "Administering the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine"
  2. Specific reference to the 9th and 11th additional doses removed. Additional guidance added.
  3. Monitoring for adverse effects added
  4. Observation post vaccination added
  1. Published