Immunizations protect individuals and communities through the prevention of disease and illness. It is one of the cornerstones of public health protection. All registered nurses have a responsibility to ensure the safety of Albertans who are eligible for or who have received a vaccine. This includes ensuring vaccines are stored correctly, assessing the eligibility for a vaccine, administering a vaccine safely, or reporting an adverse reaction or cold chain break.
Amendments to the Public Health Act and new Immunization Regulations come into force December 17, 2018. These legislations outline the responsibilities for registered nurses and other health care professionals regarding the administration of vaccines and vaccine programs, and assist to standardize practices for all immunization providers, regardless of whether a vaccine is provincially funded or privately purchased.
The following resources are available to guide your practice relating to the provision of vaccines for your clients.
Vaccines are sensitive biological products that may become less effective or destroyed when exposed to temperatures outside the recommended range or inappropriate exposure to light. Cold Chain refers to the processes and procedures that maintain optimal temperature and light conditions during the transport, storage, and handling of vaccines. The purpose of the Alberta Vaccine Cold Chain Policy is to define vaccine cold chain practices in Alberta; and to define the roles and responsibilities of Alberta Health Services, community providers, private agencies, Alberta Health, and pharmacies in implementing the Policy.
The monitoring of adverse events following immunization (AEFI) involving vaccines and biologicals administered in Alberta is an important evaluation component of the provincial immunization program. The purpose of this AEFI Policy is to provide reporting guidance for Alberta immunization providers. It contains information on: the importance of AEFI reporting and surveillance for vaccine safety; how and when to report an AEFI; and definitions of reportable AEFIs in Alberta.
The purpose of the Data Submission Guideline section of this document is to define the requirements for the electronic submission of immunization data to Alberta Health. Adherence to this document will ensure minimal data rejection due to incorrect or improper data structure and format. In addition to the business rules identified in the Immunization Data Submission and Response Guidelines, there are program validation rules specific to the immunization programs established in Alberta. A comprehensive listing of all program validation rules that should be adhered to may be found in this document.