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Vaccine Storage and Handling

Recommendations and Guidelines

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At a Glance

refrigerator and freezer for vaccine storage

Proper vaccine storage and handling practices play a very important role in protecting individuals and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases.Vaccine quality is the shared responsibility of everyone, from the time vaccine is manufactured until it is administered.

Resources on Proper Vaccine Storage and Handling

  • Keys to Storing and Handling Your Vaccine Supply is a video designed to decrease vaccine storage and handling errors and preserve the nation’s vaccine supply by demonstrating to immunization providers the recommended best practices for storage and handling of vaccines. (Video is a winner of the Winter/Spring 2014 Web Health Award) May 2014
  • These storage and handling fact sheets illustrate best practices for both refrigerated and frozen vaccines. Written in plain language, they include assessments to reinforce key points. While they are CDC-developed and branded fact sheets, each contains an area where you can insert your agency’s logo.
  • Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit is a comprehensive resource for health care providers on vaccine storage and handling recommendations and best practice strategies. The Toolkit includes guidance on managing and storing vaccine inventory, using and maintaining storage unit and temperature monitoring equipment, preparing for emergency situations, and training staff. (June 2016)
  • You Call the Shots: Vaccine Storage and Handling Module is an interactive, web-based module which provides learning opportunities, self-test practice questions, reference and resource materials, and an extensive glossary. Continuing education credit is available. (Jan 2017)
  • These example vaccines labels can be used to organize vaccines within the storage unit. Referenced in the storage and handling toolkit. (Feb 2017)
  • Provider’s Role: Importance of Vaccine Admin. & Storage
    Includes vaccine administration, timing and spacing of vaccine does, observation of precautions and contraindications, management of vaccine side effects, etc.
  • Vaccines for Children Program: Vulnerabilities in Vaccine Management. Report and recommendations released by HHS Office of Inspector General following a routine assessment of the Vaccines for Children program. (Jun 2012)
  • Packing Vaccines for Transport During Emergencies [2 pages]
    Do you know how to protect your vaccines during equipment failures, power outages, natural disasters? This document illustrates how to pack your refrigerated vaccines during emergency situations to prevent compromising vaccine storage conditions and damage to your vaccine supply. (Aug 2015)

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Additional Resources for Vaccine Storage and Handling

Note: Storage and handling information in previously published CDC documents, including the 12th Edition Pink Book, may be superseded by the materials listed in above section on this page. If inconsistencies are seen, follow newer guidelines in toolkit or more recently dated materials.

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