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Immunization Info For Health Professionals

The goal of the Immunization Program is to offer protection against vaccine-preventable diseases in order to attain a high level immunity that will eliminate or prevent outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases.

Community Vaccine Provider Responsibilities

The BCCDC Communicable Disease Control Manual Chapter 2: Immunization Program indicates that Community vaccine providers will:

  • Follow the BCCDC guidelines for immunization.
  • Follow Needle Selection Reference Guide to ensure the correct needle size is used for administering vaccines/biological products
  • Ensure that vaccine maintains potency (optimal transportation, storage, handling and conservation), and report in a timely manner to the local health unit any cold chain incidents.
  • Report in a timely manner to the local health unit regarding persons immunized.
  • Report adverse events following any immunization to the local health unit.
  • Additional key information for Pharmacist Access to Publicly Funded Vaccines

Follow Immunization Program Manual Guidelines

The BCCDC Communicable Disease Control Manual, Chapter 2: Immunization Program provides best practice guidelines to direct the provision of immunization services. 

  • It includes up to date information on responsibilities of community vaccine providers, vaccine schedules, precautions and contraindications, special populations, management of biologicals, adverse events, and specific vaccine products.

It is the responsibility of Immunization Program Manual users to ensure they are using the most current versions of the program.

  • To check for updates and/or be notified of updated changes to the Immunization Program Manual, register by entering your email address in the space on the BCCDC Administrative Circular.

Ensure Management of Biologicals

  • Complete information on vaccine management can be found in the Immunization Program Manual, section VI. [PDF]
  • Additional information about the online Vaccine Storage and Handling Course for health care providers and Vaccine Storage and handling reference guide for those that handle vaccines can be found in the Vaccine Storage and Handling Flyer
  • Vaccine should be stored between 2.0° and 8.0° C.  Check and record the minimum, maximum and current temperature of the vaccine fridge at the start and end of each business day. Record the temperatures on the Temperature Form available at the above website.
  • Obtain Cold Chain information for community providers here.
  • In the event of a cold chain break (outside of 2.0° and 8.0° C):

    • Immediately quarantine the vaccine in a fridge that is monitored and maintained between 2.0° and 8.0° C.
    • Notify the local Health Unit office.
    • Fax a completed "Cold Chain Incident Form" to the local Health Unit office. A copy of the form is available on the BC Centre for Disease Control website or through the local Health Unit office.
    • Await recommendations on future use of the vaccine.

Order Forms and Pickup of Vaccine

Order vaccine by faxing completed order forms to the local Health Unit.  Contact the local Health Unit with any questions about vaccine ordering.  

  • Allow at least 3 working days (Monday to Friday) to fill your order.
  • Vaccine will be distributed based on available products and supply.
  • We will NOT backfill orders. You must reorder.
  • The health unit may contact you if there are questions about the vaccine you ordered.
  • Cold chain must be maintained to ensure potency of the vaccine.  Bring a hard-sided cooler with ice packs when picking up vaccine.

Recording Immunization and Report Forms

Besides recording immunizations that are given on the client’s record or chart, clients should be provided with a record of their immunization.

  • Report Immunizations administered to children up to and including 18 years of age to the local Health Unit office in a timely manner so that data can be entered into the electronic public health record.  A copy of the reporting form will be provided with the vaccine.
  • Access Reporting Forms

Report Adverse Events

Report adverse events following immunization to the local Health Unit office using the Report of Adverse Event (Reaction) Following Immunization Form [PDF].