Questions about Proper Vaccine Storage and Handling? CDC’s Redesigned Toolkit Has Answers!

February 2019

Technically Speaking
Monthly Column by Deborah Wexler, MD
Deborah Wexler MD
Technically Speaking is a monthly column written by IAC’s Executive Director Deborah Wexler, MD. The column is featured in The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Vaccine Education Center’s (VEC’s) monthly e-newsletter for healthcare professionals. Technically Speaking columns cover practical topics in immunization delivery such as needle length, vaccine administration, cold chain, and immunization schedules.
Check out a recent issue of Vaccine Update for Healthcare Providers. The VEC e-newsletter keeps providers up to date on vaccine-related issues and includes reviews of recently published journal articles, media recaps, announcements about new resources, and a regularly updated calendar of events.
Questions about Proper Vaccine Storage and Handling? CDC’s Redesigned Toolkit Has Answers!
Published February 2019
CDC’s redesigned toolkit has answers!


  • What’s the appropriate temperature range for storage of refrigerated vaccines?
  • What types of devices are recommended for monitoring temperatures in vaccine storage units?
  • What should be done if it is discovered vaccines have been stored at inappropriate temperatures?
  • Is it acceptable to remove vaccines from their original packaging to save space during storage?

Practical answers to these and many other vaccine storage and handling questions are found in CDC’s newly redesigned 2019 Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit. This indispensable 48-page resource includes guidance on managing and storing vaccine inventory, using and maintaining storage unit and temperature monitoring equipment, preparing for emergency situations, and training staff.

The Toolkit reflects the best practices for vaccine storage and handling compiled from ACIP recommendations, product information from vaccine manufacturers, and scientific studies.

The 2019 Toolkit helps healthcare clinic staff find the information they need quickly and easily. Revisions in this new edition include:

  • A reorganized layout with color-coded sections to help better navigate the toolkit
  • Updated job aids and resource documents
  • Updated visuals for the vaccine storage and handling recommendations and best practices

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.

Be sure to implement the best practices and recommendations outlined in the CDC Toolkit to help protect your patients, safeguard your vaccine supply, and avoid the unnecessary costs of revaccinating patients and replacing expensive vaccines.

Valuable vaccine storage and handling resources

From CDC

From IAC

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