Proper vaccine storage and handling are important factors in preventing and eradicating many common vaccine preventable diseases. Yet, each year, storage and handling errors result in revaccination of many patients and significant financial loss due to wasted vaccines. Failure to store and handle vaccines properly can reduce vaccine potency, resulting in inadequate immune responses in patients and poor protection against disease. Patients can lose confidence in vaccines and providers if they require revaccination because the vaccines they received may have been compromised. This toolkit provides information, recommendations, and resources to assist you in properly storing and handling your vaccine supply. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit brings together best practices from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) General Best Practice Guidelines for Immunization,* product information from vaccine manufacturers, and results of scientific studies. Implementing these best practices and recommendations will help protect your patients, safeguard your vaccine supply, and avoid the unnecessary costs of revaccinating patients and replacing expensive vaccines. For specific, detailed storage and handling protocols for individual vaccines, always refer to the manufacturers’ product information and package inserts, * or contact the manufacturer directly.
Vaccines for Children Program
The Vaccines for Children (VFC) program provides vaccines at no cost to eligible children. VFC providers are important partners in making sure VFC-eligible children receive viable, properly handled vaccines. This toolkit provides general background information on many of the VFC storage and handling requirements and illustrates best practices essential to safeguarding the public vaccine supply. If you are a VFC provider or receive other vaccines purchased with public funds, consult your state or local immunization program (referred to throughout this document as “immunization program”*) to ensure you are meeting all mandatory storage and handling requirements that are specific or tailored to your jurisdiction.
* ACIP recommendations: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/acip-recs/index.html
Manufacturers’ package inserts: www.immunize.org/packageinserts/
Immunization programs: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/imz-managers/awardee-imz-websites.html
How to Use the Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit
This toolkit outlines CDC recommendations for vaccine storage and handling.
This list shows the icons you will see throughout the toolkit and their meanings:
Additional CDC vaccine storage and handling information is available at:
- Vaccine storage and handling home page: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/storage/default.htm (sign up for notifications about updates)
- Educational webinars and continuing education for health care providers: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/ed/courses.html
- Contact information for state/local immunization programs: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/imz- managers/awardee-imz-websites.html
- E-mail specific questions to CDC: [email protected]