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Observe patients for at least 15 minutes after vaccination

September 10, 2013

A study using the American Vaccine Adverse Reporting System found that 63% of syncopal (loss of consciousness) events occurred within 5 minutes of vaccination, and 89% occurred within 15 minutes. It is therefore prudent to keep the person in the clinic for 15 minutes after vaccination.

For best practices, guidelines, and vaccine and cold chain information, see the seasonal influenza information page on the ACP website.

All vaccination providers should have the necessary training and equipment to manage anaphylactic events. Please refer to Anaphylaxis: Initial Management in Non-Hospital Settings.

For all post-vaccination requirements when administering publicly funded seasonal influenza vaccine, see the AHS Influenza Vaccine Agreement.

Standards 16 and 17 of the Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians outline the requirements put in place to ensure proper procedure, environment and patient safety when administering a drug or vaccine.

Of note for this discussion, Section 17.4 states:

Following the administration of a drug, blood product or vaccine, a pharmacist must:

a) ensure the patient is appropriately monitored;

b) respond appropriately to complications of therapy if they arise;

c) ensure devices, equipment and any remaining drug, blood product or vaccine is disposed of safely and appropriately;

d) document the administration in the patient record as required in Standard 18 and Appendix A; and

e) provide relevant information to other regulated health professionals and provincial health agencies as appropriate.