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Adult Immunization Strategies for Success

Successful Strategies

Key Changes for Improving Adult Immunization

Standards for Adult Immunization Practices

Make vaccinations available

  • Include recommended vaccinations as part of routine care.
  • Identify and minimize barriers to receiving vaccines.
  • Offer influenza vaccine soon after it is available and continue vaccination through March.

Assess patients’ vaccination status

  • Review and document the vaccination status of all new patients during initial office visits and review vaccination status on an annual basis thereafter.
  • Assess and document for valid contraindications. Failure to differentiate between valid and invalid contraindications often results in the needless deferral of indicated vaccinations.

Administer and document vaccinations properly

  • Establish a protocol to ensure that billing for vaccines and the administration of vaccines is completed accurately and efficiently.
  • All people who administer vaccinations should be fully trained in vaccine storage and handling, vaccine schedules, contraindications, administration techniques, management and reporting of adverse events, and record maintenance and accessibility. Visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/ed/podcasts.htm
  • Administer indicated vaccines simultaneously. Simultaneous administration decreases the number of required visits and the potential for missed doses.
  • Patient vaccination histories should be recorded on a standard form in an easily accessible location in the medical record to facilitate rapid review of vaccination status. AFMC has free tools available to help with this process.
  • Health care professionals and other personnel who have contact with patients should be appropriately immunized.

Implement strategies to improve vaccination rates

  • Develop a system to remind patients and health care professionals when vaccinations are due and to recall patients who are overdue.
  • Establish standing orders to permit nurses to administer vaccinations by protocol without tying up the physicians’ time.

Partner with your community

  • Vaccination services should be designed to meet the needs of the population served. 


  • Display posters and provide educational material in strategic areas throughout waiting and exam rooms.
  • Educate and involve all staff in organizing a campaign to improve adult immunization rates.
  • Discuss with the patient the benefits of vaccines, the diseases that the vaccines prevent and any known risks from the vaccine.
  • Provide a vaccine information statement (VIS) after each vaccine given.

Increase Influenza Vaccination Rates in Health Care Workers

  • Select a leader to administer the influenza immunization program.
  • Get a commitment from top management.
  • Create a policy statement affirming institutional commitment to increasing health care worker influenza vaccination rates.
  • Use every possible means to deliver messages.
  • Provide education and reeducation.
  • Make available influenza vaccine easily accessible.
  • Remove cost barriers to immunization.
  • Audit immunization programs and provide feedback to key personnel.
  • Repeat the influenza immunization program annually.