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Influenza Vaccine – Shake Well!

Dec 1, 2013

From our partners at the Institute for Safe Medication Practices – This is the season where we recommend that patients with diabetes get vaccinated for the flu virus. Patients can usually get the flu vaccine at their doctor’s office, clinics, and even at drug stores. But both patients and medical professionals who administer the vaccine need to be aware of an important fact or the vaccine may not serve its purpose.

Influenza vaccine – shake well! Injectable influenza vaccines are all suspensions with the exception of FluBlok which is a solution. Still, all of the 2013-2014 injectable products listed by CDC (, including Flublok, need to be vigorously shaken before use, whether packaged in a single dose or multiple dose vial, or a prefilled syringe.

Last week, we heard from an immunization-certified pharmacist who said that he was not aware that all products had to be shaken before use. He mentioned that he hadn’t been doing this, which meant he may have been administering inadequate vaccinations. The vaccine cartons are labeled "shake well," but at least the vial and syringe labels of influenza vaccine that we’ve looked at are not so labeled. We imagine that other health professionals and office-based staff who administer influenza vaccine may also not be aware of this requirement so a reminder is in order.

Courtesy of (Institute for Safe Medicine Practice)


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Diabetes in Control is partnered with the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) to help ensure errors and near-miss events get reported and shared with millions of health care practitioners. The ISMP is a Patient Safety Organization obligated by law to maintain the anonymity of anyone involved, as well as omitting or changing contextual details for that purpose. Help save lives and protect patients and colleagues by confidentially reporting errors to the ISMP.



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