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Immunizations, Vaccines & Cold Chain

UPDATED:  May 15, 2024

Public Health Transition to Practice: Vaccines & Office IPAC (presentation by Dr. Piggott to Queen’s Residency Program, May 15, 2024)

Tdap in Every Pregnancy: Qs & As for Immunizers

Guidance for Routine & Catch-Up Immunization Services (ontario.ca)

Vaccine Hesitancy Resources

Vaccine Pick-Up and Vaccine Inventory

To ensure your vaccine order is ready for you, we ask that you:

Don’t forget to:

  • Bring your cooler within the appropriate temperature range of 2°C to 8°C
  • Submit your fridge temperatures with your vaccine order
  • Only maintain a one month supply of vaccine in your refrigerator

The Public Health is using Panorama for vaccine record and inventory management. Each premise that stores publicly-funded vaccine will be entered into the database and provided with a Panorama Premise Number. We will start to advise those who order vaccine of this number when they pick-up vaccine. All vaccines distributed and returned will be entered into the system.

Changes to the ISPA in July 2014

  • Starting in the 2014/15 school year, children need to have proof of immunization against meningococcal disease, whooping cough and chickenpox to attend school
  • Please see the fact sheet and a Q&A document for health care providers about the updated immunization requirements for school attendance.

Fact sheet

Q & A document

Please Remind Patients to Call Public Health!

Please remind patients to call the health unit with any immunization updates to ensure their records are kept up to date. This is especially important for children who require complete immunization records to attend school or day care. The number for patients to call is 705-743-1000.

Vaccines for Reportable Diseases

To prequalify for the Universal Influenza Immunization Program for the upcoming flu season, click here.

Click here for information on managing cases of suspected rabies exposure.

Reporting Adverse Storage Conditions (Cold Chain Failures)

Vaccine Storage  & Handling Guidelines

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.

Please refer to the “Cold Chain Troubleshooting Checklist” for further guidance.  In the event of a power outage refer to our “Procedures During a Power Failure” for guidance.

Report of an Adverse Storage Condition Incident Form

In the event of a vaccine fridge malfunctions and temporary storage and transportation of vaccines to contingency site is necessary.  An insulated cooler/container with temperature monitor must be used and temperatures must be maintained and recorded hourly.  Facilities are encouraged to download and print the Insulated Container Hourly Temperature Log and document per Vaccine Storage and Handling guidelines.

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.

Questions about vaccines and autism?

If you have patients  who are questioning vaccines, there are many reliable websites for them.   The following are great sites which provide information on vaccines and the  link to autism:

American Academy of Paediatrics

Canadian Paediatric Society

Caring for Kids: Vaccine  Safety

Centre for Disease  Control – Concerns about Autism

Health Canada: Misconceptions about Vaccine Safety

Immunize Canada:  Immunization Facts

Immunize Canada: Autism

Public Health Agency of  Canada: Frequently Asked Questions

Public Health Agency of  Canada: Fact and Fiction

World Health Organization: MMR and Autism

For more information,  contact or refer to patients to the Vaccine Preventable Disease program nurses  at Public Health at 705-743-1000.