Temporary vaccination sites pose particular medicines governance issues. We’ve summarised some of the most pertinent of these here. These should be followed alongside our our existing advice for COVID-19 Vaccines.
Issues common across vaccines
A number of issues in temporary vaccination sites are common across vaccines. These include:
- In spring and summer, ambient temperatures may exceed 30°C (especially in temporary buildings, tents, and stationary vehicles). Consider how the cold chain will be maintained and validated under high ambient temperature conditions. Our guidance on maintaining the vaccine cold chain will help.
- Protect vaccines from accidental freezing e.g. when stored in cool boxes with ice packs.
Reducing microbial risk
- Movement of punctured vials between multiple sites such as end user locations, presents a greater risk of microbiological contamination and proliferation than a single site delivery.
- When planning a vaccination session, the Lead Pharmacist and Lead GP at the PCN designated site should undertake an assessment to identify the risk factors associated with the transfer of vaccine, including punctured vials, and ensure that mitigations are put in place.
- The risk factors associated with the transfer of vials must also be identified, understood and mitigated by vaccinators.
- Risk assessment and risk reduction measures are outlined in the NHS England Position Statement for reducing microbial risk when transporting COVID-19 vaccines in pop up, roving, and mobile mode.
Preparing and administering
- Prepare vaccines for administration using aseptic technique in a suitable environment.
- Do not subject vaccines to excessive shaking.
- Protect vaccines from direct sunlight when transferring them from the preparation area to the point of administration.
- Administer doses immediately after drawing up.
Sharps and waste
- Take measures to prevent sharps injury at any stage.
- Store and move waste safely before disposal. Use appropriate measures to minimise the risk of theft of waste vials and packaging: i.e. ensure empty vials are discarded into clinical waste and labelled packaging is defaced and destroyed.
Print and use
The attached can be printed and used daily by teams in temporary vaccination sites to assess whether issues specific to the use of COVID vaccines have been considered.
Use together with
The checklist should be used in conjunction with our process design material covering other aspects of good vaccines governance.
Issues specific to individual vaccines
Issues pertaining to individual vaccines are summarised in the articles below.