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Cold Chain management

Page contents: Cold Chain management advice | Cold Chain Breach form

Cold Chain management advice

All Immunisation Providers should follow the principles of safe vaccine storage management to ensure that clients receive effective and potent vaccines. The principles are contained in the National Vaccine Storage Guidelines 2013, Strive for 5, 2nd Edition.

Cold chain: The system of transporting or storing vaccine within the safe temperature range of 2˚C to 8˚C (Strive for 5˚C – the midway point).

Cold chain breach:  Exposure of vaccines to temperatures outside the recommended range of 2˚C to 8˚C, excluding fluctuations up to 12˚C, lasting no longer than 15 minutes, when restocking, cleaning the fridge or stock taking.

From January 2015 in Victoria

You do not need to complete a vaccine cold chain breach report form for the following heat excursion such as a power outage event:

  • Vaccine that is exposed, on a single occasion, to heat with a temperature of less than 25 °C for less than 6 hours.

The government-supplied vaccine can continue to be administered for this single event scenario. However the following actions are required:

  1. Determine the cause of the breach and where possible, address this to reduce the risk of the event reoccurring
  2. The date and duration of the breach and any actions taken should be recorded
  3. The vaccine exposed to a single event breach must be identifiable in the event the same vaccine is breached a second time therefore mark it with a pen.

Cold Chain Breach form:

Please complete the form for all other breaches such as:

  • A freeze breach
  • A heat breach greater than or equal to 6 hours
  • A heat breach greater than or equal to 25 °C
  • Vaccines breached on more than one occasion.
Please lodge the form as soon as possible after detection by:
Fax: 1300 768 088
Email: immunisation@health.vic.gov.au

While waiting for advice, do not use or discard any vaccines and place a sign on the fridge to inform other staff of the breach.