May 22,

Vaccine Storage & Handling

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Vaccine Storage & Handling

Reporting Adverse Storage Conditions  (Cold Chain Failures)


Vaccines must be kept between 2°C to 8°C to ensure the vaccines stay as potent and effective as possible.  When the vaccine storage refrigerator varies above or below these temperatures, this is known as a cold chain failure and must be immediately reported to Public Health at 705-743-1000.

Report of an Adverse Storage Condition Incident Form

To order the Ministry’s Vaccine Storage and Handling Guidelines, please contact Public Health at 705-743-1000 or click here to order online.

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care will be mailing health care providers an updated information package on vaccine storage and handling.  The package will contain:

1.  Vaccine Storage and Handling Guidelines

The Vaccine Storage and Handling Guidelines are intended to assist you with how to properly store and handle publicly funded vaccines.  Prior to ordering vaccine, you are required to understand and meet the vaccine storage and handling requirements indicated in this document.  Essential information is now highlighted throughout the Vaccine Storage and Handling Guidelines.

2.  “How to Monitor Refrigerator Temperature” Sticker

This describes temperature monitoring practices.  It may be placed on the Storage Pocket or directly on the vaccine refrigerator.

3.  Storage Pocket

The Storage Pocket is a convenient plastic pouch where you can store your vaccine storage and handling materials (e.g., Vaccine Storage and Handling Guidelines and the Vaccine Refrigerator Maintenance Log Book).  The pocket can be affixed to or close to the refrigerator.

4.  “Protect Your Vaccines – Protect Your Patients” Poster

The “Protect Your Vaccines – Protect Your Patients” poster provides some key messages regarding vaccine storage and handling requirements.  As the poster is printed on cling material, this will allow the poster to adhere to the surface of a wall beside the vaccine refrigerator without the use of magnets or glue.

5.  “Do Not Unplug” Sticker

The “Do Not Unplug” sticker should be placed above or beside the vaccine refrigerator electrical outlet.  This sticker will act as a reminder to prevent the accidental unplugging of the refrigerator.

6.  “Stop” Sticker

Place the “Stop” sticker on the vaccine refrigerator door.  This sticker will help to reduce the number of times the refrigerator door is opened.

Although not included, the Vaccine Temperature Log Book has been redesigned and is more user friendly with temperature graphs removed.  Please use the Vaccine Temperature Log Book to document vaccine refrigerator temperatures twice daily.  You may place the Vaccine Temperature Log Book in the Storage Pocket provided or hang it next to the refrigerator.

The Vaccine Refrigerator Maintenance Log Book is a new resource that you can use to document refrigerator maintenance and repairs.  Each refrigerator storing publicly funded vaccines should have a log book which will be provided to you during routine inspections.

Thank you for your continued support and commitment to the safe storage and handling of publicly funded vaccines.


Last modified on Jul 04, 2017