USP Outlines the COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Toolkit for World Immunization Week

April 26, 2021

For World Immunization Week, Pharmacy Times® interviewed Nurisha Wade, MBA, VP of Global Healthcare Quality & Safety Center of Excellence at US Pharmacopeia (USP), and Farah Towfic, PharmD, MBA, director, CEO of Operations at USP, on USP’s COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Toolkit.

For World Immunization Week, Pharmacy Times® interviewed Nurisha Wade, MBA, vice president of Global Healthcare Quality and Safety Center of Excellence at US Pharmacopeia (USP), and Farah Towfic, PharmD, MBA, director, CEO of Operations at USP. During the interview, Wade and Towfic discussed how USP’s COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Toolkit can be used by pharmacists to support COVID-19 immunizations throughout the country.

Wade explained that the COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Toolkit was developed by USP to specifically address operational efficiencies and gaps that may be encountered by pharmacists and others as part of the vaccine rollout.

“It consisted of us assembling many experts and expert volunteers from USP, including pharmacists, who were also having questions and experiencing challenges that they thought USP could address,” Wade said. “We also had participation from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, as well as US FDA, so it was a comprehensive effort.”

Towfic noted that for those pharmacists interested in accessing the information provided in the toolkit, it can be easily found on the USP’s website. The toolkit is also available on the websites of the CDC and more than a dozen other public health organizations, as well as on the websites of many independent and chain pharmacy networks.

Towfic explained further that the information provided within the toolkit is applicable for pharmacists in practice settings.

“When it comes to preparing for the mass vaccination clinics, a time period where you're going to be vaccinating more than 100 people at a time, [the toolkit] enables you to pre-draw [and] prepare vaccine doses so that you can more efficiently administer the vaccines to patients, and also ensure safety and quality throughout,” Towfic said.

Towfic and Wade also discussed USP’s updates to the COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Toolkit, how pharmacists can reach USP to give feedback on information for which they need clarity or support around, what is USP looking to for the future in the immunization space, and USP’s outlook on the future of the COVID-19 pandemic.