Standing orders programs authorize nurses and pharmacists to administer vaccinations
according to an institution or physician approved protocol without a physician’s
exam. In March of 2000, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) published recommendations
based on evidence of the effectiveness of standing order programs citing that they
help decrease vaccine preventable disease burdens and allow for the safe delegation
of the immunization process. As it is with all immunization practices, DoD will
follow ACIP recommendations for the use of standing orders.
A physician must still be available to respond to a medical emergency when ever
immunizations are given. The use of standing orders in the military allows healthcare
personnel working within their scope of practice as determined by their license
and each Service to administer vaccines without an individual order or physician’s
exam. This saves both the individual vaccinee and the provider time, while allowing
for a safe and efficient vaccine delivery process in the absence of adequate allergy
and immunology specialists.
Examples of standing orders meeting quality assurance guidelines can be found in
the standing orders section of the Immunization Action Coalition website.