• Vaccines are extremely effective public health tools which can dramatically improve the health of populations and individuals.
  • Physicians who administer vaccines should familiarize themselves with the indications and contraindications of the specific product they use as well as its appropriate dosing and schedules.
  • Informed consent should be obtained according to the procedures in place in each country.
  • Manufacturer requirements for shipping, handling, and storage should be followed to assure that the vaccine remains effective and safe for use.
  • Different vaccines are administered by different routes – whether ID, IM, or orally. The appropriate route should always be used as per the package insert.
  • Vaccines have been developed and shown to be effective using specific dosing and dosing intervals. The recommendations for these should be followed.
  • Side effects of vaccines do occur. Care should be taken not to inappropriately attribute medical events following vaccination to receipt of the vaccine.
  • Common side effects such as fever and local tenderness are usually mild, transient and easily treated.
  • Providers should counsel vaccine recipients to anticipate such events.
  • Anaphylaxis can be caused by all vaccines but it is very rare.  However, since it can be rapidly life threatening, all vaccinators should be prepared to treat this emergency.