Suggested resources to help primary care healthcare professionals find information to answer questions on vaccines and immunisation

SPS resources

SPS provides a variety of resources that may support answering questions about vaccines and immunisation:

Temperature excursions

SPS provides general advice on temperature management for medicines storage, including guidance on managing temperature excursions. Information on stability out of the fridge is included in the medicines entries for some vaccines. To find information for a specific vaccine, search by generic vaccine name.

Vaccine safety in breastfeeding

SPS provides advice on

Travel vaccines

For information on travel vaccines, in addition to the resources listed, please see Travel health: resources to support answering questions

COVID-19 vaccines

SPS produces specific guidance on COVID-19 Vaccines including service advice and planning, and a variety of clinical topics.

Advice line

If the information is not available on the SPS website or the information resources listed, or if your clinical scenario is complex, we would suggest you seek further advice from our Medicines Advice Service.

Other primary resources

In addition to our own resources, we particularly recommend the following resources that are free to access:

Local formulary or guidelines

Your local Area Prescribing Committee, Medicines Management Group or similar body may have relevant guidelines or documents. For example, formulary status of medicines outside the national vaccination programme, or Patient Group Directions (PGDs) for local use.

The “Green Book”

Immunisation against infectious disease (the “Green Book”), produced by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), provides comprehensive advice on vaccines and immunisation.

Information is presented as chapters divided into two sections:

Each chapter opens as a PDF document; it is useful to familiarise yourself with the format. You can use Ctrl + F to search within a chapter.

Make sure to look at the current version by opening individual chapters; the website also allows access to the complete 2006 edition of the book which is out of date.

UKHSA Immunisation collection

The UKHSA immunisation collection provides a wealth of resources for healthcare professionals across its website. The following are particularly useful:

Vaccine programmes

Individual vaccine programme collections contain a wealth of useful information including training materials, letters and patient support materials. Particularly helpful are ‘Information for healthcare practitioners’ documents produced for specific vaccination programmes.

Flu vaccination programme information for healthcare practitioners includes:

  • legal frameworks to supply/administer flu vaccines
  • eligible patient groups
  • recommended vaccines
  • managing situations such as inadvertent administration of an extra dose, expired dose or vaccine other than the one recommended
  • details of egg and latex content of vaccines

HPV vaccination: guidance for healthcare practitioners includes:

  • administration for individuals with bleeding disorders
  • managing individuals with incomplete or interrupted schedules or who received vaccines at less than the recommended interval

To find information for healthcare practitioners for other vaccination programmes, first find the individual vaccine programme collection.

Immunisation PGD collection

Immunisation Patient Group Direction (PGD) templates, produced by the UKHSA, are available to support NHS national immunisation programmes.

These templates need further authorisation; locally approved PGDs may be available via your local Area Prescribing Committee, Medicines Management Group or similar body.

Clinical Knowledge Summaries

Useful Clinical Knowledge Summaries (CKS) topics cover vaccines in five areas:

CKS guidance is for primary care health professionals and can be more straightforward to follow than the Green Book.

Summaries of Product Characteristics

SmPCs/SPCs are available via electronic Medicines Compendium and MHRA. They can be useful for answering questions relating to contraindications (section 4.3) excipients (section 6.1) and vaccine storage (section 6.4).

For information on the use of vaccines within national immunisation programmes, follow guidance in the Green Book, UKHSA or NHS resources.

NHS website

The NHS website has useful information for patients on vaccines and immunisation. To find the information you want, search for vaccination or a specific vaccine.

Particularly useful pages are:

Update history

  1. Title amended
  1. Published

Print this page