Immunization of Adults and Children in the Emergency Department

        [Ann Emerg Med. 2008;51:695.]
        The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) recognizes that vaccine-preventable infectious diseases have a significant effect on the health of adults and children. Many adults and children at risk for such diseases use the emergency department (ED) as their primary source of health care. ACEP is concerned those individuals at risk for these diseases are often not appropriately immunized and that EDs may be called upon to play a more prominent role in the event of an emerging (or biothreat) outbreak. To promote the health and well-being of the population, ACEP thus supports the following principles.
        • All health care personnel should be encouraged to receive yearly influenza immunization.
        • EDs should establish relationships with public health clinics, managed health care organizations, and private physicians to ensure the rapid referral of undervaccinated patients.
        • In cases of outbreaks or epidemics of vaccine-preventable diseases (including emerging infections and biothreats), emergency physicians should assist health care facilities in partnering with public health agencies to develop and implement mass vaccination strategies.
        • For immunizations provided in the emergency department, all applicable laws, regulations, policies, standards, and requirements should be followed.
        Approved by the ACEP Board of Directors January 2008. This policy replaces “Immunization of Pediatric Patients” (2000), “Immunization of Adult Patients” (2000), and “Immunizations in the Emergency Department” (2002).