Pharmacy talking points for February

10 February 2021

NSW Health’s Immunisation Unit have released the February talking points for pharmacists. This month, pharmacists should be focusing on vaccine fridge audits and ensuring pharmacists record all necessary details for every administered vaccine as per the NSW Pharmacist Vaccination Standards.

Yearly checks 

Your vaccine fridge needs to be maintained regularly to ensure you are supplying viable vaccines. There have been instances where vaccine fridges have not been maintained or monitored correctly, which has resulted in recall of patients for re-vaccination.

The National vaccine storage guidelines – Strive for 5, provide all the information required to ensure you meet your obligation to provide safe and effective vaccines.

A vaccine storage self-audit must be undertaken by each clinic or practice at least every 12 months and documentation retained. Self-audits should be carried out more frequently if there have been problems with equipment or cold chain breaches. This audit is available within The National vaccine storage guidelines – Strive for 5– appendix 2. Part of this audit also ensures your fridge is serviced every year. This is also a mandatory requirement under The National vaccine storage guidelines – Strive for 5.

During your self-audit, you should ensure your anaphylaxis kit consumables are all within date. This not only applies to your adrenaline ampoules, but also the needles, syringes, and swabs. Change all stock that will expire within the next 12 months, unless you plan to check your anaphylaxis kit more regularly.

Check your fridge regularly to ensure your vaccines are in date. Expired vaccines should be discarded as soon as possible after expiry, to ensure they are not accidently administered. Please note that an expiry which only states month and year, e.g. 03/21 indicates vaccines are able to be used until the end of March 2021.

Recording Vaccinations

Are you reporting recording all the relevant details for each vaccination? As per the NSW Pharmacist Vaccination Standards, you must record all of the following details, for every vaccine you administer:

  1. The person’s name, address, date of birth and contact details, 
  2. The name and contact details of the person’s primary medical practitioner, 
  3. The brand, batch number and expiry date of the vaccine, 
  4. The part of the body to which the vaccine was administered, 
  5. The date on which the vaccine was administered, 
  6. The pharmacist’s name and contact details and his or her certificate of accreditation number, 
  7. The address of the pharmacy or premises at which the vaccination was administered, and 
  8. A unique reference number for the supply and administration.

All vaccination records must be retained for seven years. All vaccinations must be reported to the Australian Immunisation Register.