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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Russell W Steele, M.D.(Ochsner Clinic Foundation)
Description: This handbook details the entire vaccination process, from the handling, storage, and physical administration of vaccines to recordkeeping and adverse reactions.
Purpose: The authors hope to make this book one of the most useful and complete references for providers who routinely administer recommended vaccines to children, adults, and travelers to developing countries. Although important, this is also the purpose of the vaccine recommendations published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices - ACIP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (Committee on Infectious Diseases - Red Book). This book fails to fully meet the objectives primarily because it lacks an index to look up specific questions, forcing readers to look through the contents to identify issues of interest.
Audience: It is specifically written for doctors and nurses who routinely administer immunizations and will be particularly useful for travel clinics where travel vaccines and information are offered. It might be useful to nonpediatric primary care physicians such as family practice physicians, internists, and gynecologists who do not primarily rely on the AAP's Red Book for their vaccine information.
Features: After a brief overview, the handbook devotes chapters to many practical day-to-day issues important to primary care physicians who routinely administer vaccines: administration technique, adverse reactions, compliance, and vaccine records. There is an excellent chapter on travel information and vaccines and a well designed chapter on pandemic preparation. Perhaps most useful are the tables that include difficult to find information such as telephone numbers for manufacturers and recommendations for storage and handling of vaccines.
Assessment: The handbook is well written, but difficult to use as a reference since specific information is hard to find. The omission of an index is a critical shortcoming. Pediatricians and most family practice physicians rely on the AAP's Red Book: 2006 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases, 27th edition (American Academy of Pediatrics) for immunization information, and this handbook does not offer a more useful source. For complete information on vaccines, Vaccines, 5th edition, by Plotkin et al. (Elsevier, 2008) cannot be improved upon. However, for nurses who will be responsible for a vaccine clinic, this handbook would be an excellent tool to get them started.