How To Handle Vaccines Safely: The Best Practices

Vaccines are vital medications for strengthening people’s inherent immunity to diseases to enable them to fight off the infection if exposed. Vaccines protect people from preventable diseases such as chickenpox, measles, polio, etc.

When people have stronger immunity, it helps them restrict spreading diseases, resulting in a healthier society. And what is more, vaccinations can also wholly eradicate a disease over time. 

But, vaccines call for careful and specific handling and storage to maintain effectiveness. Medical facilities should, therefore, follow the necessary standards to protect their vaccine inventory.

What Necessitates Safe Vaccine Handling?

When it comes to vaccines, safe handling is a must. If you do not care to handle vaccines safely or store at improper temperatures, there are ample chances of the vaccines losing effectiveness and even damages. Damaged and ineffective vaccines will do more harm than good.

How To Handle Vaccines Safely

Moreover, improper vaccine storage can lead to the stock’s replacement as it will entail substantial money outgo.

As eliminating all mistakes is impossible, you can adhere to a set of best practices to lower the damage to your vaccine stock. It will not only save money but also enable you to prove the best care for your patients.

Best Practices for Safe Vaccine Handling

As you have come to know that you cannot escape safe vaccine handling, it will help if you adhere to the following best practices:

Cold Chain

A quality cold supply chain is a must for handling vaccines safely. The necessity of a cold chain arises not only at the vaccine manufacturing plant but also during transportation and delivery, storage within the medical facility, and administration to a patient.

Therefore, you should direct efforts to properly maintain the cold chain by allowing the appropriate temperature and following the essential best practices. 

Proper Staff Training

Vaccines can retain the medicinal value only with an appropriately trained staff. And that is why training your staff on safely organizing, storing, and handling vaccines in your medical facility is exceptionally crucial. 

Ensure that every new staff you recruit undergoes a proper training process to learn the appropriate storage and handling practices.

Moreover, you can also provide refresher training periodically so that the entire staff can stay up-to-date on standard operating procedures. Likewise, you can impart new training when your facility receives new vaccines or storage equipment.

With a proper training schedule, you can always keep your staff up-to-date with the proper knowledge to appropriately handle every vaccine in your facility.

Formulate and Implement Standard Policies

It will help if you have a clear and written policy regarding the standard operating procedures in your medical facility. Make sure you keep a copy near or on all your storage units. Also, distribute copies to all your staff members. It will enable all members of your staff to refer to the standard procedures whenever they need them. 

With a standard policy, every staff member will be accountable for the rules and regulations for handling vaccines. You can then expect more uniform work and results in your facility. 

You should include the relevant information in the standards you formulate, such as contact details of other cold chain manufacturers and providers, job descriptions for facility staff, and training requirements for your staff. 

You should not miss out on outlining routine storage and handling information for all aspects of your vaccine management. The procedures should include emergency handling, storage, and transport procedures. Also, do not forget to include the necessary steps during a power failure or equipment malfunction.

Vaccine Documentation

One of the essential aspects of properly managing your vaccine inventory is documentation. Your staff needs to monitor and document the ordering, receipt, and organization of vaccine supply. It is advisable to recruit a few staff members exclusively for documentation purposes.

The documentation staff should keep track of your vaccine stock movements, including ordering refills and tracking the delivery of new supplies. The documentation should also include the respective places for keeping each vaccine in your facility and the expiry dates for each vaccine. 

A significant fallout of documentation is enabling your staff members to use the vaccine before expiry, lowering the risk of losing the items. And your staff can always properly handle vaccines.

Temperature Monitoring

Monitoring storage temperatures is one of the crucial components of the best practices. Many vaccines require specific temperature environments to preserve their medicinal value and remain effective. 

Your staff should daily monitor the temperature for each vaccine and record the individual temperatures. They also should maintain a log to facilitate analysis of the respective temperature trends. 

However, make sure that your vaccine storage units are equipped with a reliable temperature monitoring device. 

You can also use a digital data logger that records the current, minimum, and maximum temperatures of your unit. It can also alert you when temperatures go out-of-range that can be risky for your vaccines.

Using High-Quality Storage Equipment

Vaccine storage and handling – Invest in high-quality storage units so that you can maintain the best practices. Purchase good quality vaccine refrigerators or freezer and not household or dorm refrigerators. Bear in mind that household refrigerators can damage vaccines, although they can lower temperature fluctuations and lessen airflow. 

With secure insulation and temperature monitoring, pharmaceutical refrigerators give a safe environment for your vaccines. 


Storing vaccines is a risky affair. You can mitigate the risks and provide safe and effective vaccines to people if you follow the best practices for safe vaccine handling. 

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Article Author Details

Mila Jones

Mila Jones is a Senior Business Consultant, with rich experience in the domains of technology consulting and strategy, she works with both established technology brands and market entrants to offer research inputs and insights on leveraging technology as a source of strategic competitive advantage. She is a prolific author and shares her expertise with tech enthusiasts on popular digital publishing platforms. She loves not only to write about several topics but also loves to explore new ideas about Lifestyle, Travel blogs and many more.