Medical Council of Canada

Medical expert

Immunization - 74-2

Rationale

Immunization has the potential to either reduce or eradicate many infectious diseases, reduce the risk of complications from certain diseases, and improve overall health the world over. However, a rise in vaccine hesitancy has led to decreased immunization rates in developed countries.

Key Objectives

The candidate must be able to assess the immunization status of patients and recommend an appropriate schedule of vaccinations, discuss with patients and parents/guardians the risks and benefits of vaccination, and identify patients in need of vaccination who do not come in for routine visits (e.g., when presenting for assessment of a new illness).

Enabling Objectives

Identify patients needing vaccination, and for such patients the candidate will

  1. list and interpret clinical findings, including
    1. an immunization history as well as any contraindication to vaccination (e.g., anaphylaxis, immunosuppression);
  2. construct an effective initial management plan, including
    1. obtaining informed consent;
    2. giving patients/parents the information they need to manage possible vaccine reactions;
    3. outlining an appropriate vaccination schedule, including modifications to the usual schedule for special circumstances (e.g., catch-up schedules, immunocompromised patients);
    4. advocating for vaccination based on currently accepted scientific data;
    5. counselling patients/parents who refuse vaccinations;
    6. reporting adverse immunization reactions, as required;
    7. reaching out to population segments specifically at risk (e.g., elderly people, people with chronical illness, people who have received transplants, people with asplenia);
    8. recognizing the importance of temperature regulation in the storage of vaccines to maintain efficacy.
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