USP’s COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Toolkit Consolidates Updated COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Front Line Health Care Workers

Nakia Eldridge, PharmD, MPH, senior manager of health care quality, safety, and information at US Pharmacopeia (USP), and Lindsey Clawson, MBA, USP’s lead of COVID-19 vaccine strategy, discuss the latest updates in USP’s COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Toolkit.

Pharmacy Times interviewed Nakia Eldridge, PharmD, MPH, senior manager of health care quality, safety, and information at US Pharmacopeia (USP), and Lindsey Clawson, MBA, USP’s lead of COVID-19 vaccine strategy, on the latest updates in USP’s COVID-19 Vaccine Handling Toolkit.

First published in January 2021, USP’s toolkit provides front line practitioners with the most up-to-date, relevant COVID-19 vaccine-related information. Eldridge explained that USP started the vaccine toolkit after being asked by health care practitioners in the field to develop a toolkit that could support their vaccination efforts during the peak of COVID-19 infections.

“We really wanted to focus on the operational efficiency gaps around the preparation, the labeling, the storing, handling, transporting, wasting, and disposing. Basically, from when it got to the pharmacy to when it got to the patient,” Eldridge said. “We started by convening 30 independent experts, with representatives from the CDC and the FDA, to help us address these gaps based on their scientific and professional expertise around the Pfizer, the Moderna, and the [Johnson and Johnson] COVID-19 vaccines.”

In November 2021, experts at USP revised the toolkit to include information on booster doses, pediatric Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine preparation, and beyond-use dating in pre-drawn syringes, as well as methods to avoid errors relating to mix-ups between COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines.

During the discussion, Eldridge and Clawson addressed feedback USP has received from pharmacists and how it is incorporated into the toolkit, how often USP updates the toolkit, some of the latest updates in the toolkit, what USP’s focus is in terms of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out going forward, and what else USP is working on to prepare for the next pandemic or health crisis.

This discussion is the sixth video in the video series collaboration between Pharmacy Times and USP that highlights USP’s work to support the pharmacist and USP’s perspective on timely and topical issues in the field.