September 19, 2017, Lakewood, Colorado – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requirements for all Vaccines for Children (VFC) suppliers and other health care providers include tightening restrictions on VFC storage and transportation to prevent loss of drug potency and damage. Failure to meet the CDC requirements may result in a citation under public record.
The following packing, storage, and handling recommendations for the transport of vaccines are based on research and guidance provided by the British Columbia Centers for Disease Control (CDC) National Guidelines (2007), CDC Cold Chain Guidelines, and the CDC Atlanta Cold Chain Guidelines:
- A validated, insulated container will be used and temperature monitored.
- Pack enough refrigerated and/or frozen packs to maintain the cold chain without freezing the product inside.
- During transport in a personal vehicle do not place container in trunk and avoid placing the container in direct sunlight or in direct line with the heater or air conditioning vents.
- Only pack the vaccine quantity expected to be used.
- Only a brief period out of the refrigerator can be tolerated.
- Ensure stock rotating principles are in place.
- Qualified containers should also be on hand for storage during transport or during emergency power outages.1
These regulations require both an understanding of the vaccine’s efficacy and full control of your cold chain.
The consequences of a cold chain failure can be costly. Inappropriate storage and handling conditions can result in damaged and ineffective vaccines, extra doses for patients, significant monetary loss from wasted vaccine, and loss of public confidence in vaccines.