Online Cold Chain Management eLearning modules have been developed to assist Victorian immunisation providers with staff education to effectively manage the vaccine cold chain. The modules are available free of charge via the Victorian Immunisation Learning :
- Cold Chain Management module for non-clinical staff: Course: Cold Chain Management - Non-clinical
- Cold Chain Management module for Clinical staff: Course: Cold Chain Management - Clinical .
- Cold chain is the system of transporting and storing vaccine within the range of 2°C to 8°C (strive for 5°C - the midway point).
- A cold chain breach is the exposure of vaccines to light or temperature outside the recommended range of 2°C to 8°C, excluding fluctuations up to 12°C lasting less than 15 minutes.
- Cold chain breaches must be managed as soon as possible.
- The National vaccine storage guidelines: Strive for applies best practice.
- Watch the short, animated MVEC video (3:38) - Journey of the cold chain, What is the cold for staff to understand the importance of cold chain and their responsibilities.
- Access to government-funded vaccines beyond August 2023 will be dependent on completion of the Cold Chain Management eLearning modules:
- from 1 August 2023, for continued access to government-funded vaccines, at least one nominated staff member responsible for vaccine management and a back-up staff member must successfully complete the training and retain a record of certificates of completion for review when requested by the Department of Health.
- all staff responsible for cold chain management are encouraged to complete the training
- complete the training annually, and more frequently, where there have been problems with vaccine storage equipment or cold chain breaches.
- For all COVID-19 vaccine cold chain breach information and action, see the Victorian COVID-19 vaccination .
Stickers, magnet and posters help remind staff to care for the power supply, the vaccine refrigerator and manage a vaccine cold chain breach.
Cold chain breach reporting
Use the Cold chain breach report form to report cold chain breaches. Note that there are some exemptions.
Cold chain monitoring during vaccine transport
The TagAlert® indicator monitors vaccine temperature during transport. If it shows an alarm, a heat or freeze breach has occurred.
Cold chain protocols
All health services should have written vaccine cold chain protocols and regularly educate their staff.
Store light-sensitive vaccines in their original packaging to protect them from light. Use the Cold chain breach report form to report a breach.
Vaccines – power outage strategies or refrigerator failure
In a power outage, leave vaccines in the fridge or transfer them to another fridge. When the power returns, check the fridge temperature.
Reviewed 18 May 2023