All Points Medical Waste Blog

Retail Pharmacies and Vaccines

Implementing Best Practices for Sharps Disposal

In the last few years, retail pharmacies across the United States have taken on the role of administering vaccines, offering an alternative to the need for people to visit a physician’s office. This service is a convenient way to encourage people who might not otherwise get a vaccine. Millions of Americans visit pharmacies to receive the flu and other vaccines each year resulting in the generation of large amounts of sharps and other medical waste materials. Because pharmacies did not provide these services in the past, they have not had the experience that doctor’s offices, clinics, hospitals and treatment centers have in administering vaccines or dealing with the medical waste that is generated from them. These non-traditional sites for vaccination delivery are obligated to follow OSHA and FDA guidelines as well as local and federal mandates to ensure that this medical waste is disposed of properly.

Vaccines Now Offered at Pharmacies

While not all pharmacies offer every vaccine, many provide an array of vaccinations to their community, these include:

  • Influenza (FLU)
  • HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
  • Hepatitis A (Hep A)
  • Hepatitis B (Hep B)
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)
  • Meningitis
  • Shingles
  • Pneumonia
  • Polio

Safe Disposal of Sharps and Related Medical Waste

Pharmacies that are providing vaccinations and other related services must protect the health and safety of their staff and patients by following safety protocols for disposal of sharps and materials used in the process. This includes:

  • Providing safety training to all staff
  • Choosing FDA approved sharps containers
  • Placing sharps containers as close to the point of use as possible
  • Partnering with medical waste disposal professionals for timely disposal
  • Adhering to protocols to prevent needlesticks
  • Preventing over-filling sharps containers
  • Selecting FDA approved syringes and other sharps materials with safety features

In addition to following these guidelines, pharmacies must be committed to remaining compliant with FDA and OSHA mandates for proper waste disposal to ensure that sharps waste does not endanger the community, animals or the environment.

All Points Medical Waste is a family owned and operated medical waste disposal provider located in Stuart, Florida. We serve South Florida, from Broward County to Okeechobee County, providing medical waste disposal to hospitals, doctor’s offices, clinics, surgery centers, veterinarians, dental practices and more. Give us a call or fill out this form to learn more.

Dawn Connelly

Dawn is the vice president of All Points Medical Waste. All Points Medical Waste is a family-owned and operated medical waste disposal and compliance company that has been serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, and surrounding areas since 1994.
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