This document outlines the basic principles for safe vaccine management. It is a concise, practical, user-friendly guide to vaccine storage, and is aimed at Australian vaccination service providers.
Every practice should have a copy of Strive for 5 and everybody who deals with the receival and storage of vaccines should be familiar with it.
- It is recommended that vaccines are stored in a purpose-built vaccine refrigerator.
- Bar refrigerators are not recommended for vaccine storage.
- Management of storing vaccines in a domestic refrigerator has changed. Vaccines are at greater risk in domestic refrigerators. Therefore, modifications and a diligent management plan are essential.
- With rapidly changing technology in refrigeration it is not possible to give generalised statements on management that apply to all refrigerators. There are, however, general recommended guidelines on managing vaccines. It is crucial that you 'know your refrigerator'.
- Recommendation for workplace policies and procedures for vaccine management.
- Emphasis on all people involved in transporting, storing and administering vaccines to be trained in vaccine management to ensure the vaccine remains effective and potent.
- Self-audits (at least 12 monthly) of refrigerators storing vaccine are recommended.
- Increased emphasis on timely reporting of refrigerator temperatures outside of +2°C or +8°C to your state or territory health department.
- Advice about frequency of recording vaccine storage temperature has changed.
- Changes to guidelines on use of ice packs/gel packs and monitoring vaccines in coolers and cold boxes.
'Strive for 5' can be downloaded here or it can be purchase from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.