The Storage, Handling, Administration, and Preparation Experts (SHAPE) working group published the first of two papers on vaccine delivery on May 1.
"From Refrigerator to Arm: Identifying Issues in Vaccine Delivery" appeared in the health journal Vaccine. The paper discusses how errors in the delivery of vaccines can occur at every step of the process.
The SHAPE group discovered that the complexity of delivering vaccines is often underestimated, underlining a need to simplify the process. Gaps between knowledge of proper immunization techniques and what is done in practice often lead to improper dosing, which ultimately harms the patient.
"Re-evaluating and streamlining the vaccine delivery system, even simply ensuring proper storage or minimizing preparation steps, can achieve our goal of ensuring continuous process improvement," Dr. L.J. Tan, the chief strategy officer for the Immunization Action Coalition and lead author of the SHAPE study, said.
Tan said that improving the quality of care for patients who receive vaccines can help to combat preventable diseases.
The SHAPE working group first convened in May 2012 with the objective of analyzing current immunization processes. It includes experts from a number of healthcare organizations, as well as state, local and regional immunization programs.
The working group's second paper on issues in immunization is currently in development.