Pharmacy Technician Vaccination Training UK

Vaccine Training UK technicians

To date (20th January 2021) the list of healthcare professionals in the UK who can supply and administer medicines under a PGD as maintained by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) includes pharmacists, but not pharmacy technicians. It was widely thought that come November 2020 this legislation would change in response to a potentially overwhelming flu vaccine season in combination with the COVID vaccine release. However, there have been no recent legislative changes. For this reason, we have developed a protocol for pharmacy technicians to administer vaccines via a Patient Specific Direction (PSD), please contact us for more information.

Below is an article to examining potential rate-limiting steps of pharmacy technician vaccine administration and how they can be overcome:

  • Insurance: the majority of pharmacy insurers by default, ensure pharmacies against activities which are common amongst other pharmacies. Technicians administering vaccines will not be a common activity therefore it would be prudent to check whether these new activities will be covered.
  • Training - pharmacy technicians have been administering influenza vaccines in the US since 2017, the original training protocol was devised by Washington State University. This included:
    • 2-hour self-study module covering:
      • Immunization overview
      • Role of immunizations in public health
      • Types of vaccines and basic immunology
      • Common vaccines and vaccination schedules
      • Tips for identifying patients who have not been immunized
    • 4-hour live training session covering:
      • Needle safety and use of sharps container
      • Routes of administration and finding injection sites
      • Vaccine handling and storage
      • Choosing the correct needle and syringe
      • Drawing up the vaccine for injection
      • Vaccine administration
      • Addressing emergency situations
      • Required documentation and reporting for immunizations
      • Tips and clinical pearls
    • 1-hour pediatric immunization administration module covering:
      • Patient/parent counselling and comforting
      • Differences between adult and paediatric vaccination doses
      • Paediatric injection sites, and supplies

The safety of this training protocol was proved by an initial pilot which saw seven immunization-trained pharmacy technicians administering 4394 injections, to patients ranging in age from 2 months old to 85 years old in one year. Vaccinations that were administered to patients included diphtheria, tetanus, polio, hepatitis A and B, H. influenza, human papillomavirus, seasonal influenza, meningococcal, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, pneumonia, and rotavirus. The training was shown to be safe and to have had a "positive impact on pharmacy morale", via this published paper. Subsequently, this training protocol has been replicated and is potentially going to roll out on a federal level.

  • Pharmacist Supervision - one key, common aspect of all of the US training is that every pharmacy technicians competence was certified by an appropriately trained, in-house pharmacists. These technician certifying pharmacists were all put through an extra face to face 1-hour of training by the training organisation covering:
    • Observation of vaccine administration
    • Common errors in vaccine administration
    • Submission of certifying documentation

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