2017-2018 Vaccine Bi-Annual Report

Though immunization is one of the greatest public health achievements, continued success relies on the quality with which vaccines are prescribed, dispensed, stored and administered. Analysis of 1,143 event reports submitted to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) National Vaccine Errors Reporting Program (VERP) from January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2018 show that most of the reported errors reached the patient (87.8%, n = 1,004). Most of the reports were submitted by a practitioner working in the outpatient setting including medical clinics (36.5%, n = 417), physician practices (24.4%, n = 279), ambulatory areas of hospitals (13.8%, n = 158) and public health immunization clinics (12.5%, n = 143). The error types reported most often included wrong vaccine (24.2%, n = 277) and wrong age (17.4%, n = 199). A few (1.4% [n = 16 of 1,143]) of reports involved clusters of events. As vaccination programs seek to achieve high immunization coverage, more needs to be done to reduce the risk of vaccination errors since they can lead to inadequate immunity, increased cost, and reduced confidence in the healthcare delivery system.