Routine immunisation check

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Globally, vaccination is recognised as being one of the most effective public health interventions in the world for saving lives and promoting good health. The success of the vaccination policy in the UK relies on vaccines protecting individuals from the specific disease. It is also dependent on achieving high uptake of the vaccines across the population, which thereby minimises the spread of infections, achieving herd immunity.

Nursing staff can support this by:

  • asking about vaccination history on admission or discharge or as part of any assessment process
  • reminding people that even as adults many vaccines are still recommended
  • having information and resources on vaccination available, or know where to get them
  • make immunisation checks part of ‘Making Every Contact Count'.

The Green book - Immunisation against infectious disease, details all vaccines offered in the UK either as part of the routine schedule or for specific purposes such as travel, pregnancy or high risk groups.

Green book is available at:

Remember the routine vaccine schedule is for everyone; children and adults. Use any opportunity to check vaccine history and make sure people are offered any vaccines they have missed.

Ask specifically about:

  • tetanus, diphtheria and polio vaccines
  • measles, mumps and rubella vaccines
  • • COVID-19 vaccines.

For older adults and those with underlying medical conditions ask about:

  • shingles vaccine
  • pneumococcal vaccine (also recommended for those who have other specific underlying conditions)
  • annual influenza vaccine (also recommended for those who have other specific underlying conditions) 
  • additional vaccines eg, MenACWY specifically recommend for those with an underlying condition which increases the risk of vaccine preventable infection

The details of exactly who should be vaccinated is available in Immunisation Against Infectious Diseases known as the Green Book.

Access to this and many resources, including the complete routine schedule are available at:

RCN website, Clinical ‘public health’ specialist area on immunisation: immunisation