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July 2021

RCN issues immunisations checklist

Best practice guidelines, in the form of a handy eight-rule (‘8 r’s) checklist for immunisation clinics, has been published today by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). The new guidelines are designed to help reduce potential errors in general practice and support an efficient roll out of child vaccination programmes.

The eight-rule checklist, published in booklet form and called Managing Childhood Immunisation Clinics, provides invaluable top tips for nurses on how to avoid making common errors when administering vaccines and what to do when things go wrong.

Examples of the most common errors during vaccination include: vaccinating the wrong child; administering the wrong vaccine (for an adult) to a child; vaccinating the wrong sibling or a child whose name begins with the same initial; expired vaccinations remaining in the fridge; vaccines given at the wrong time of the schedule or incorrectly stored.

Helen Donovan, the RCN's Professional Lead for public health nursing, said: ‘All practitioners involved in immunisation should be able to demonstrate current, evidence-based and best practice-based knowledge and understanding in accordance with the National Minimum Immunisation Standards. ‘Well organised, friendly and flexible vaccination clinics help to instil public confidence and maintain high coverage of vaccines. They also support parents in making sure their children have the vaccines they are due in a timely way. ‘This handy RCN checklist provides essential top tips to nurses responsible for administering vaccines in child immunisation clinics and will help to reduce the margin of error in future.’

RCN. Managing Childhood Immunisation Clinics. July 2021.

Practice Nurse 2021:51(6):8