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Competency #8: Administration of Immunizing Agents

This competency prepares and administers immunization agents correctly

Learning Objectives

The health professional will be able to perform the following:

  • Prepare a checklist for pre-immunization patient assessment, including precautions, contraindications, and indications for rescheduling.
  • Ensure the seven “Rights” of immunization: right drug, right client, right dose, right time, right route, right reason, and right documentation.
  • Demonstrate the steps involved in vaccine preparation, including reconstitution, if appropriate, administration, and disposal.
  • Name the resources that are used to guide the immunization administration process and decision making.
  • Develop a table listing the vaccine, age, dose, route, site, contraindications/ precautions, and side effects for each vaccine used in the practice setting.
  • Demonstrate the age-appropriate injection sites and proper client positioning used for immunization.
  • Choose the correct needle length and gauge for the age and size of the client.
  • Describe actions taken to increase safety in immunization clinics related to the provider, the recipient, and the environment.
  • Demonstrate the appropriate technique for immunization.
  • Describe techniques to reduce the pain associated with immunization.


Appropriate vaccine administration is a key element to ensuring the optimal safety and efficacy of vaccines. Vaccine administration practices are based on clinical trials that determine the dose, route and schedule for each vaccine. Professional standards for medication and vaccine administration and federal/provincial/territorial policies and procedures, where these exist, also guide vaccination practices. All providers of vaccines should receive education and competency-based training on vaccine administration before providing vaccines to the public. Programs should be in place to monitor the quality of immunization services.

When they are manufactured, immunization agents do not contain any contaminants and are therefore sterile; the strictest form of asepsis must be observed when preparing and administering vaccines. (Sources: Canadian Immunization Evergreen Edition and Nova Scotia Immunization Guide)

Clinical Practice Guidelines


Pain Management

The following resources are available to guide practice on managing pain during immunization. Please note that providers should review and follow prescribing information and contraindications for topical anesthetics, if used.

Resources for the Public

Resources for the Health Care Provider

Translating Foreign Immunization Records

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