Attention all immunisation providers: Cold chain breaches update

The Department of Health and Human Services, Immunisation Unit are concerned with the increasing number of Cold Chain Breaches reported this year. The Immunisation Unit is required to provide CCB data to the Commonwealth Government who fund and provide vaccines for eligible persons under the National Immunisation Program.

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: Strive for 5.

Please ensure:

            2 key changes are:-

            - Only purpose built vaccine fridges should be used for all vaccine storage. Domestic and bar fridges must not be used for vaccine storage.

             - At a minimum all vaccine fridges must have a data logger and thermometer.

                Set the logger to record temperatures at 5 minutely intervals and download it weekly or after a temperature excursion is identified.

  • all staff continue to be educated about recording and resetting the temperature after each recording at the start and end of day. Twice-daily minimum and maximum temperatures must still be manually recorded as a timely alert to any breach in the cold chain
  • all staff are familiar with cold chain breach reporting - standard procedure
  • ensure your cold chain protocols are up to date and the annual checklist undertaken:
  • the fridge has adequate capacity for peak periods (flu season). A purpose built vaccine  fridge should not be more than 80% full.
  • your purpose built vaccine fridge is serviced annually
  • all staff are familiar with Vaccine management protocol including appropriate vaccine ordering and accepting vaccine deliveries
  • vaccine is only ordered for use in 1 month to avoid stock expiring or wastage in the event of a Cold Chain Breach. Check monthly & discard expired stock.
  • use this link for education of new and other staff annually, including the educational webinar
  • you have ordered resources from the National vaccine storage guidelines resource collection

Immunisation providers who are identified as not complying with correct vaccine storage guidelines may have their Government funded vaccine account suspended until compliance with cold chain management and procedures are demonstrated. If you have further questions please contact the Immunisation Unit.

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