7.4  Injection safety

Safety in giving injections is essential for both the client and the provider. Unsafe injections can lead to the transmission of diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. Unless the waste materials of the injection process are disposed of safely, they may result in the spread of infection and cause injury. A safe injection is one that:

  • does not harm the recipient
  • does not expose the provider to any avoidable risk
  • does not result in dangerous waste.

You learned in detail about the equipment for giving safe injections in Study Session 4. Here we will remind you of the main types that may be available at your Health Post:

  • Disposable, sterile, single-use syringes and needles, which are used once only and then disposed of safely. They are commonly used for mixing freeze-dried vaccines (BCG and measles) with their diluents and should never be re-used.
  • Auto-disable (AD) syringes, which are the preferred type of injection equipment for administering vaccines and should replace all other injection equipment if possible. These are used once and cannot be re-used, because the plunger of the syringe cannot be pulled back again once it has been pushed forward to inject the vaccine.
  • Pre-filled, single-use syringes, which already contain a single dose of the vaccine, and are made by the manufacturer in such a way that they can only be used once.

All types of injection equipment must be disposed of safely after use, as described later in this study session. But first, we remind you of the circumstances in which immunizations should not be given.

7.2.3  Multi-dose open vial policy

7.4  Contraindication to immunization