Department of Health

National vaccine storage guidelines - Strive for 5

Stay compliant with Strive for 5.

The National vaccine storage guideline - Strive for 5External Link provides health services with best practice vaccine storage and cold chain management standards

Strive for 5 applies to all health services, including:

  • medical practices
  • large hospitals
  • clinics
  • mobile services
  • outreach providers.

Health service providers can access resources from the National vaccine storage guidelines resource collectionExternal Link .

Additionally, all health services need to establish a written vaccine management protocol and conduct annual vaccine storage self-audits.

Automated temperature monitoring and back-to-base alarm systems

All health services, including medical practices, large hospitals, clinics, mobile services and outreach providers using automated temperature monitoring and back-to-base alarm systems for monitoring vaccine refrigerators are required to follow Strive for 5.

Refer to Automated temperature monitoring and back-to-base alarm systems for vaccine temperature monitoring requirements.

Vaccine management protocol

Health services must ensure there are written policies and procedures for vaccine management and to record equipment maintenance, vaccine transport and staff education.

Refer to Strive for 5, Appendix 1 - Vaccine management protocolExternal Link , for further details.

Vaccine storage self audit

A vaccine storage self audit must be completed every 12 months and more frequently where there have been problems with:

  • equipment or
  • cold chain breaches.

Use the Strive for 5, Appendix 2 - Vaccine storage self audit toolExternal Link to complete the audit.

Managing a power failure

Power failures occur for many reasons. How a power failure is managed in your health service may depend on the cause of the power outage, whether prior notice was given and the time of day the outage occurs.

In the event of a power outage or refrigerator failure, ensure you have:

  • a back-up plan available and staff are trained to manage power failures
  • alternative vaccine storage options
  • a portable minimum/maximum digital thermometer.

Refer to the Strive for 5, Appendix 9 - Checklist for managing a power failureExternal Link for managing a power failure.

Mobile and emergency storage

For outreach and mobile immunisation clinics, or emergency storage, vaccines should be packed into a cooler and monitored while contained within a cooler.

Purpose-built vaccine refrigerators do not have freezer compartments. An additional refrigerator with a freezer section will be required for storing ice packs and gel packs for use in an emergency or when packing a cooler for transport.

Refer to the Strive for 5, Appendix 8 - Mobile and emergency storage checklistExternal Link for mobile or outreach immunisation clinics, or emergency storage of vaccines, to ensure your vaccines are stored or transported within the recommended cold chain temperature range.

Cold chain resources

National vaccine storage guidelines resource collectionExternal Link : provides cold chain resources for health services, including checklists, vaccine refrigerator temperature monitoring charts, posters and stickers.

Reviewed 31 August 2023


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