Pharmacy Times

A Pharmacist's Guide to Preventing Vaccine Errors

Author: Michael J. Gaunt, PharmD, and Donna Horn, RPh, DPh

Pharmacy Times Office of Continuing Professional Education


A Pharmacist's Guide to Preventing Vaccine Errors

Michael J. Gaunt, PharmD
Medication Safety Analyst
Editor, 
ISMP Medication Safety Alert!
Community/Ambulatory Care Edition
Institute for Safe Medication Practices

Donna Horn, RPh, DPh
Director, Patient Safety–Community Pharmacy
Institute for Safe Medication Practices


Michael J. Gaunt, PharmD, discloses that his spouse is an employee of Merck & Co, Inc.

Donna Horn, RPh, DPh, has no relevant affiliations or financial relationships to disclose related to this activity.

Pharmacy Times Office of Continuing Professional Education
Judy V. Lum, MPA; Ann C. Lichti, CCMEP; and Donna Fausak have no relevant affiliations or financial relationships to disclose related to this activity.

Pharmacy Times Editorial
Bea Riemschneider, Jennifer Barrio, and David Allikas have no relevant affiliations or financial relationships to disclose related to this activity.

PTOCPE has resolved conflicts of interest for this activity by the use of an anonymous, external peer review and content validation process. The peer reviewer does not have any relevant financial relationships with commercial interests and this CPE activity references the best evidence available.


Educational Objectives

Upon completion of this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  1. Describe commonly reported medication errors involving vaccines.
  2. Explain the issues related to vaccine mix-ups between DTaP and Tdap.
  3. Recognize the error potential associated with preparing and reconstituting certain vaccines.
  4. Understand the contributing factors that may lead to vaccine errors.
  5. Identify system-based risk-reduction strategies that pharmacies can employ to prevent vaccine errors.

Target audience: Pharmacists
Type of activity: Knowledge
Release date: May 10, 2012
Expiration date: May 10, 2014
Estimated time to complete activity: 2 hours
Fee: This lesson is free online

Click here to view this activity