Vaccine Storage and Handling

All facilities that provide publicly-funded vaccine must follow Ontario's Vaccine Storage and Handling Guidelines. Huron Perth Public Health annually inspects locations where the vaccine is stored (e.g. doctors' offices, walk-in clinics, hospitals, long-term care homes and pharmacies).

Key steps to vaccine storage and handling

  • Have a dedicated vaccine fridge that can maintain temperatures between +2° to +8° C.
  • Have a digital min/max thermometer and monitor your vaccine fridge temperatures twice daily
  • Record the date and time and minimum, maximum, and current temperature in the temperature log book twice daily
  • Report cold chain exposures (temperatures outside +2° to +8°C) immediately
  • Transport your vaccine using an insulated container, ice packs, ice blankets and a thermometer

Cold chain reporting

Cold chain is the process of storing vaccines properly during delivery, handling, and storage in refrigerators. If the temperature is not maintained between +2°C to +8°C, the vaccine effectiveness may be decreased. The vaccine may look okay, but the person who receives it may not get proper protection.

An incident or failure happens when the fridge temperature where the vaccine is being stored goes below +2°C or above +8°C. When this happens, the healthcare provider needs to call us right away.

Huron Perth Public Health staff will assess the situation and let you know which vaccines can still be used.