2 Processes for safe immunisation

2.1 Cold chain management

All vaccines must be stored and/or transported within the recommended temperature range of +2oC to +8oC at all times. Refer to Appendix 6 and the National Guidelines for Vaccine Storage and Distribution1 for detailed vaccine storage, transportation and destruction information.

Table 2.1: Key points for cold chain management

All vaccinators are responsible for ensuring the vaccines they administer have been stored correctly.
All immunisation providers storing vaccines must use a pharmaceutical refrigerator.
The pharmaceutical refrigerator temperatures must be monitored and recorded at the same time on a daily basis.
All immunisation providers must monitor the refrigerator with an electronic temperature recording device (eg, a data logger) that records and downloads data on a monthly basis.
All immunisation providers who store vaccines and/or offer immunisation services must achieve Cold Chain Accreditation (CCA), including (but not limited to) general practices, public health units, community pharmacies, travel clinics, occupational health clinics, emergency medical services, research units and hospital wards/clinics/departments/pharmacies.
Each immunisation provider must have a written cold chain management policy in place and ensure their policy is reviewed and updated annually.
If the vaccine refrigerator temperature goes outside the recommended +2oC to +8oC range:
  • refer to Appendix 6 and the Annual Cold Chain Management Guide and Record
  • label the vaccines ‘not for use’ and leave them in your refrigerator – keep the refrigerator door closed
  • download the data logger and check for inconsistencies or temperature fluctuations
  • contact your local immunisation coordinator for advice and further actions, as required
  • document the steps and actions you have taken
  • if you are recalling or re-immunising children or adults, inform the Ministry of Health’s National Immunisation Programme by emailing or by contacting the Manager Immunisation directly.