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Vaccine Key Storage and Handling Practices

Transporting Vaccines

  • Transport all vaccines in hard sided, monitored coolers
  • Temperature must be between 2*C and 8*C during transportation
  • Check all vaccines for he expiry date
  • Any expired vaccine products must be returned to the health unit
  • If your facility is planning a vacation, bring your vaccine to the health unit for safe storage while you are away

Refrigerator Organization

  • Use of a “new” fridge for your vaccine storage requires an on-site inspection by an SMDHU VPD nurse
  • Keep full water bottles in the fridge to help maintain the temperature
  • Group vaccines by type and ensure there is space between vaccines
  • Do not store vaccine products in the doors or drawers
  • Place vaccines that will expire first at the front of the refrigerator
  • All multi dose vials are to be dated once opened and used by timing specified in product monograph

Temperature Maintenance and Readings

  • Use a min/max thermometer (can be purchased through the health unit for $42.00)
  • Read your temperatures twice a day, every day your facility is open - mark the time of each reading
  • Velcro closures can help to ensure that fridge door is securely closed for bar/domestic fridges
  • Change batteries for thermometers twice per year when the clocks change
  • Defrost freezer at least once a year in bar/domestic fridges
  • Fridge temperatures will fluctuate during increased fridge access:  Mark your log book with an asterisk when this occurs.
  • Keep storage and handling guidelines beside vaccine fridge for easy access   
  • Have a back-up plan for vaccine in the event of a power failure