Zostavax update 2018
20 Mar 2018
Zostavax vaccine calls
The IMAC 0800 line has received a significant volume of calls relating to the introduction of the Zostavax vaccine (shingles, HZV) and the flu season. Please download the IMAC updated chapters for the immunisation handbook on zoster, influenza, and vaccines for special groups as these are essential for decision making. Table 22.2 in the Zoster chapter is very useful when reviewing patients on immunosuppressive therapy.
To assist providers with their pre-vaccination screening, IMAC has developed two resources.
- Patient checklist for the shingles vaccine may be given to a patient to complete prior to their consultation, to highlight areas that may require further examination by the health professional prior to HZV administration. This does not replace the need for an informed consent discussion.
- Health professional screening tool for the HZV vaccine is to help guide health professionals with their screening questions and the rationale for the questions. These tools do not replace the requirement for providers to complete an appropriate pre-vaccination check and informed consent process.
Zostavax vaccine process management
The addition of
the Zostavax vaccine to the adult schedule has prompted discussion about how
best to manage this process well and safely.
IMAC's view that it is clinically appropriate, and the best use of patient
time, to offer Zostavax to eligible patients when they are attending for
another service, such as the flu vaccine.
We understand and support this view,
but know each practice will have different resources and pressures, and we all
want to keep patient safety at the top of the list.
Extra resources for additional costs of administration would
be nice, and whilst we will raise this at the PSAAP negotiations, this is only
one issue of many that will be discussed, and the counter-argument is that only
one administration fee is paid for other joint vaccination events such as those
There are a number of points practices may consider.
- Adding another vaccine to the schedule may be an
added pressure on the practice, particularly for the authorised vaccinators.
Consider celebrating the small wins and continue to support each other.
- The IMAC
webinar is very informative and comprehensive. It takes one hour, but is
well worth watching. The webinar covers such things as fridge capacity,
ordering, rationale for targeting this age group and many other issues raised
- Use the resources you have been given from the
vaccine supplier MSD and from the IMAC website. You may be able to use some
of the slides from the webinar as well.
- Use the pre-vaccination checklist as a visual
prompt in your vaccination rooms.
- Create a keyword which covers all the pre-vaccination checks.
- Documenting "verbal informed consent" in your
clinical records is perfectly acceptable (another keyword may be useful).
- Share your great ideas with other practices - no
one wants to reinvent the wheel - we'd love to hear them and share them through
If you need to chat, or you have some ideas you would like
to share, let us know.
For more information contact Pinnacle MHN medical
director Dr Jo Scott Jones: email@example.com
or nurse lead Hilde Mullins: firstname.lastname@example.org.