Ask the Experts

Recommendations from our experts for your immunization practice.

General Recommendations

What to do if CDC’s ACIP makes a ‘permissive’ recommendation
Does a pharmacist need a prescription to administer the vaccine?

Routine immunization of health care personnel
All health care workers, including those not involved in direct patient care, are responsible for receiving all recommended vaccines.

Aspiration before injection of vaccines or toxoids
Revised ACIP General Recommendations on Immunization provide advice on aspiration and a range of other topics.

Q&A from APhA immunization webinar
Should AIDS patients be given flu shots? What are the storage requirements for the shingles vaccine? APhA Liaison Representative to ACIP answers these and other questions.

Far too few U.S. adults are getting recommended vaccines
Although small improvements were seen for Tdap and HPV vaccine coverage from 2010 to 2011, the number of U.S. adults getting recommended vaccines remains well below optimal levels.

Preventing serious shoulder injuries during vaccine administration
Experts examine cases of serious shoulder injuries resulting from incorrect technique and provide step-by-step guide to proper administration of intramuscular injection.

Role of community pharmacies/pharmacists in vaccine delivery in the United States
APhA Chief Strategy Officer Mitchel Rothholz provides overview of profession’s immunization activities to ACIP.

Shake, rattle, or roll: Preparing vaccines for administration
APhA-compiled chart lists commonly administered vaccines and information regarding their preparation.

Vitamin B12 deficiency and use of acid-suppressive drugs: The association revisited
OTCs Today

Walgreens pharmacists begin using EHRs
Move is part of bigger push to align pharmacists with team-based care

ACIP Updates

What to do if CDC’s ACIP makes a ‘permissive’ recommendation
Does a pharmacist need a prescription to administer the vaccine?

Summary of topics discussed at October ACIP meeting
Insider info on recommendation to immunize males aged 11–12 years with HPV4 vaccine; other topics included hepatitis B vaccination in patients with diabetes and meningococcal vaccine.

Broad array of vaccine issues covered at ACIP meeting
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) met in Atlanta, GA, on October 27–28, 2010. Complete minutes of the meeting will be published on the CDC National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) website (

Rundown of topics covered at recent ACIP meeting
Pertussis vaccine, current influenza activity, and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in adults among issues discussed by committee.

Summary of topics discussed at recent ACIP meeting
Committee addresses issues surrounding Japanese encephalitis, pertussis, and rotavirus vaccines, among others.

ACIP addresses variety of vaccine topics at latest meeting
Committee discusses issues surrounding pneumococcal, Japanese encephalitis, and many other vaccines.

ACIP addresses range of vaccine topics at recent meeting
Committee discusses issues surrounding influenza, meningococcal, pneumococcal, and human papillomavirus vaccines, among others.

ACIP tackles range of vaccine topics at meeting
Immunization Update

Summary of topics discussed at June ACIP meeting
Committee discusses intranasal influenza vaccine preference in children, supplemental pneumococcal conjugate vaccine dose for older adults, and more


Giving Shingrix to a patient also receiving an influenza vaccine
Recombinant and adjuvanted vaccines can be administered concomitantly with other vaccines, but should be administered at different anatomical sites.

Risk for Guillain–Barré syndrome with influenza vaccination
Experts provide overview of Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS), review GBS risk among influenza vaccines, and review immunization recommendations for patients’ with GBS.

Effectiveness of influenza vaccine in obese patients
Although variables make the measurement of effectiveness difficult to interpret, morbid obesity is a high-risk indication for which influenza is particularly needed.

Ask the Expert: Addressing concerns regarding adjuvant use in seasonal and 2009 H1N1 vaccines
None of the currently approved formulations are adjuvanted.

Updated recommendations on use of antivirals for influenza
ACIP recommendations provide valuable guidance on use and monitoring of antiviral agents for treatment and prevention of influenza.

High-dose influenza vaccination in the elderly
Ask the Experts: High-dose influenza vaccination in the elderly

Influenza vaccine found to be 62% effective; flu activity widespread in 47 states
Although not perfect, the influenza vaccine remains the best tool to protect against the virus.

New York pharmacists authorized to administer influenza vaccine to patients 6 months or older
As Governor Cuomo declares disaster emergency, New York pharmacies struggle to meet increased demand for flu vaccine.

More flu than ever before, some physicians report
About one-quarter of more than 2,400 U.S. physicians report encountering more patients with influenza at this point in the season than ever before in their careers.

Low influenza vaccine effectiveness among older individuals
CDC reports a vaccine effectiveness of only 27% among individuals 65 years or older for the 2012–13 influenza vaccine.

Influenza vaccine safety in patients with egg allergy
Allergic reaction to egg can be severe; therefore, understanding the current recommendations and concerns for influenza vaccination in patients with egg allergy is important.

Early, intense influenza activity: Information for pharmacists
The 2012–13 started early and is hitting hard; stay current on the latest information.

H1N1 virus predominates as high influenza activity blankets the nation
CDC reports that circulation of H1N1 is the highest it's been since the 2009 pandemic.


Revaccination with 23-valent pneumococcal vaccine
Learn the optimal schedule for administering the 23-valent pneumococcal vaccine.

Concurrent administration of zoster and pneumococcal vaccines
Learn about the concurrent administration of the zoster and pneumococcal vaccines.

Reluctance administering 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23)?
Although PPSV23 is not a perfect vaccine, it still reduces illness and death from pneumococcal disease.

What are the new recommendations for PCV13 in adults?
Pharmacists may be called upon to help primary care providers navigate difficult dosing guidelines for PCV13 and PPSV23.

Hepatitis A and B

Hepatitis B testing in health care workers postvaccination
Rules for postvaccination testing following hepatitis B vaccination of health care workers.

Improving hepatitis B vaccination rates in the hemodialysis population
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) have identified high-risk populations for which vaccination is recommended: intravenous drug users, individuals engaging in high-risk sexual behavior, patients in long-term care facilities, and patients with chronic liver disease, with HIV infection, or who receive hemodialysis.

Herpes Zoster and Varicella

Giving Shingrix to a patient also receiving an influenza vaccine
Recombinant and adjuvanted vaccines can be administered concomitantly with other vaccines, but should be administered at different anatomical sites.

Proper anatomical location for administering herpes zoster vaccine
In what region of the arm should this subcutaneous injection be administered?

Pediatric and Adolescent

Summary of topics discussed at June ACIP meeting
Recommendations for herpes zoster vaccine remain the same; other ACIP recommendations provided

Update on the safety of rotavirus vaccines
The documented benefits of RotaTeq and Rotarix outweigh the suggested increased risk for intussusception or any other potential risks

Immunization and use of antipyretics
ACIP does not recommend antipyretics before or at the time of vaccination, but they can be used to treat fever and local discomfort following vaccination.

Pretreating with APAP for infant vaccines; maternal antibodies against influenza in breast-fed infants
Question for our experts on reasons for/against pretreatment with acetaminophen (APAP) for infant vaccines.


Malaria prophylaxis for travelers
Pharmacists should consider several options for treating patients traveling to malarious areas.